Ihamäki, P. (n.d.). Ihamäki, P. & Heljakka K. (2018) “Travel Bugs”: Toys Traveling Socially through Geocaching. Digital Games Research Association DiGRA. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/37675498/Iham%C3%A4ki_P._and_Heljakka_K._2018_Travel_Bugs_Toys_Traveling_Socially_through_Geocaching
Geocaching, Travel Bugs, Toy tourism, Toy Mobility, Gamification, Social play
This study explores emerging types of mobile and social play patterns through theobject-based, but technologically enhanced practices of toy tourism. As our case studiesdemonstrate, object play practices in the digitalizing world are not only becomingincreasingly social in nature, but even more mobile than before. As illustrated by ourstudy focusing on Travel Bugs in the context of the international game of geocaching,toys become mobile through different practices partaken by players, willing to either become involved in toy tourism with their playthings. Our study consisted of 45 survey responses from geocachers traveling with Travel Bugs. According to the results, mobileand social object play practices enabled by the platform of Geocaching become gamified
i.e. more perceivable, goal-oriented and measurable.
Our main contributionis a conceptual framework in which the relations between the digital, the physical andthe social dimensions of toy tourism are modelled
more on gamification in this IMS blog