Am I married with children? Where are my companions? Fushun Travel On hearing that I’m alone they said they wouldn’t dare do it, and I reply that Fushun Travel there’s nothing to fear. How old am I? This question was asked more often than any other, and I’ve now realised that it’s not really because they were curious about my age, it’s because my age will tell them how much respect I am due. Age brings seniority. And whenever I didn’t understand their regional accents I just gave them the answers in any order, and watched them laugh because I’d given them the information they wanted but none of it matched their questions. During the last few hours of the train ride to Chengdu it became more noticeable that we were going south. Water-buffalo wallowed in mud-puddles beneath a rainy sky.
If the flaneur epitomized modernism and the rise of the nineteenth-century urban, then, for Luke (2006), the phoneur is the twenty-first-century extension of this tradition as the icon of modernity. As Luke observes, in a networked city one is connected as part of circuit of information in which identity and privacy is at the mercy of the system. The picture of the urban city today painted by Luke is one in which the individuals have minimal power in the rise of corporate surveillance. Sites such as www.pleaserobme.com, that seek to raise awareness about over-sharing of personal data, highlight not only the localized nature of privacy but also that privacy is, as Paul Dourish and Ken Anderson (2006) observe, something we do rather than something we possess. The notion of privacy and what constitutes the public online differs according to location (Goggin and Hjorth 2009). This also identifies that what constitutes participation’ is also a localized and relative concept.
According to de Souza e Silva and Hjorth (2009), a second analogy that can be drawn on to understand gaming in urban space is to make reference to the 1960s’ Situationist International (SI) subversive activity of the derive. For Guy Debord (1977), derive is a type of drifting through a geographic space that radically revises the usual motives and actions one generally uses while moving through urban spaces. This invention was an important strategy to challenge the increasing commercialization that Debord viewed within everyday Parisian life. By disrupting naturalized notions of place, the derive rewrites the experience of the city. In an extension of the derive, contemporary urban mobile games can also be viewed as converting and altering the urban and the everyday.
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