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Article

Механизмы соблюдения приличий в геолокационных играх

Глазков К. П.

Mobile internet provides conditions for the split presence of participants interacting in augmented reality. This is especially true for participants of location-based mobile games that move through the streets of the city and are among other passers-by. Split presence means that presence in the physical environment and presence in the virtual environment can be in varying degrees of coherence. For the game process, it is important to constantly relate who is near and what happens on the screen of the mobile device that actualizes the problem of compliance of accepted rules of propriety. To conceptualize what is considered "proprieties" in situations involving gadgets, we turn to the theoretical resources of Erving Goffman. According to E. Goffman, proprieties mean maintaining the presence among the other participants of a situation that includes two elements: location and involvement in what is happening. The maintenance of proprieties is revealed in the desire of all participants to find a balance between these two elements. However, the possibility of (in)consistency between these two elements rises in location-based mobile games, because of which several protective mechanisms of attention distribution among participants in interaction are involved: 1) constant monitoring of the surrounding, 2) appropriate (not) ignoring passers-by, 3) total exclusion from the interaction of cheaters who substitute their location in the game. Together the three mechanisms ensure the “smoothness” of the game and the resulting public interactions, the boundaries of which now include rules of conduct in both offline- and online-environments. The methodology of the empirical research is based on ten semi-structured interviews with the players of Ingress the Game and Pokémon Go, as well as multiangle shooting of five game episodes. As a result of analysis of the collected video material, we see that users of location-based mobile games do not fall out of interaction with passers-by. They continue monitoring reactions of passers-by to their presence in public places trying to normalize their appearance. In an unhurried game, players spend a lot of effort not to seem completely absorbed by mobile devices. To do this, players switch attention from screens to passers-by, distracting them when they are so close that it allows monitoring of the actions of other participants in the situation. However, the behavior of players is substantially limited by ignoring the reactions of passers-by, which makes the players' position closed to spontaneous interaction. In addition to the fact that players are attentive to the presence of passers-by, they also scrupulously approach dishonest players (cheaters) who substitute the coordinates of their location, which allows them to perform game actions in places where they do not exist. In the case of detection of such cases, "live" players cease to notice the actions of cheaters excluding them from public interaction.