It turns out that Aussie pets love playing mobile games and watching TV, just as we do.
In a three-year study of mobile gaming and digital media in Australian households, researchers were surprised to find animals frequently joining in on the fun with technology.
“We have observed cats playing with iPads and keyboards, dogs watching television or participating in Skype calls,” says Distinguished Professor Larissa Hjorth, Director of the Enabling Capability Platform for Design and Creative Practice at RMIT.
She co-leads the research with Associate Professor Ingrid Richardson from Murdoch University.
Australians have one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world and we view and include our four-legged friends as significant members of the household.
“Humans and their pets are entangled in various forms of intimacy and kinship, often in digitally mediated ways,” Larissa says.
This was the first-ever longitudinal study of mobile gaming in Australia. Due to be completed in mid-2017, the work highlights the social and cultural aspects of mobile media, bringing much-needed nuance to public discussion about the impact of modern technology.
“People adapt media in ways that are often unexpected, creative and playful,” Larissa says.
“Media practices can tell us a lot about our values, ideologies, and ways of knowing in the world.”
Banner image credit: RMIT University
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