Dr. Jeffrey Wimmer: Games as third places revisited

Guest lecture on Wed, 15:30, F25!

Apologies for super short notice, but this is well worth your attention! Dr. Jeffrey Wimmer is visiting us from University of Augsburg and giving a talk. Feel free to attend.

Games as third places revisited

Some authors claim e.g. that the mediatized “playgrounds” of massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) have the potential to establish social capital, and hence provide an opportunity for social involvement and participation (e.g. Steinkuehler/Williams, 2006). Following this approach, under specific circumstances, the mediated und ubiquitous worlds of current mobile games (a current popular example is Pokémon Go) can be understood as a form of ‚social media’, creating new socio-culturally and politically relevant spaces for interaction, which Oldenburg (1991) calls a third place (see for an empirical pilot study Wimmer 2014). Building on this the lecture looks theoretically as well as empirically at how the – intentionally non-political – participatory processes of mobile gaming are (not) being transferred into participation and engagement in other domains of social life.


  • Oldenburg, Ray (1991): The great good place. New York.
  • Steinkuehler, Constance & Williams, Dmitri (2006): Where everybody knows your (screen) name: Online games as ‘third places.’ In: Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 11 (4), article 1.
  • Wimmer, Jeffrey (2014): „There is no place like home”. The potential of commercial online gaming platforms for becoming third places. In: Quandt, Thorsten/Kröger, Sonja (Hg.): Multi.Player. Social Aspects of Digital Gaming. London: Routledge, 111-123.