This study explains how Pokémon GO, as a locative media, reconfigures users' urban life patterns from three perspectives: developers' engagement strategies, gameplay and mental health, and players' urban life. For understanding the role played by Pokémon GO as an actor in the urban life of players, I applied digital ethnography to research and analyze it. The reason for following the tradition of digital ethnography in my research is that it allows me to examine the research question in an inductive way from an exploratory perspective. My research takes three perspectives and revolves around players' urban life patterns. First, by conducting documentary research on developer diaries, I found that the developer team adopts three main strategies to engage the players: strategies of routine maintenance, strategies of collecting gameplay, and strategies of creating cultural recognition. Second, I engage with five interviewees which helps me find out there are improving effects of playing Pokémon GO on players' mental health. Finally, I examine the role played by Pokémon GO in players' urban lives in the tradition of the walk through method. I concluded that Pokémon GO reconfigure the way users experience their urban life in Rotterdam by providing digital inscription, setting digital lure, and maintaining the safety of the player.

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Dr. Christian Ritter
Media & Creative Industries
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Haoshan Dong. (2022, June 27). Exploring Rotterdam with Pokémon GO: An ethnographic study of locative media. Media & Creative Industries. Retrieved from