2K-Reality: designing a compliant sports augmentation for pickup basketball

Ryan, T 2019, 2K-Reality: designing a compliant sports augmentation for pickup basketball, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Media and Communication, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title 2K-Reality: designing a compliant sports augmentation for pickup basketball
Author(s) Ryan, T
Year 2019
Abstract This dissertation details my design, evaluation and interpretation of a videogame-based sports technology called 2K-Reality that I designed to augment the experience of playing and watching pickup basketball. 2K-Reality blends a sports videogame with pickup basketball by remediating sounds appropriated from the NBA 2K12 basketball videogame. Installed next to a basketball court, 2K-Reality invites people to actuate a tablet-based digital audio sampler housed in a kiosk connected to public address (PA) speakers. Pickup basketball spectators adopt the role of a make-believe National Basketball Association (NBA) arena-deejay to perform interpretive NBA-themed soundscapes that articulate and amplify the action of pickup basketball games. The soundscapes create a make-believe NBA experience by immersing players and spectators in a mix of broadcast-style commentary, arena-style crowd sound effects and contemporary music break beats.

Physical inactivity is one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide. International public health and sports management reports, including the recent World Health Organization Global Action Plan On Physical Activity 2018-2030, recommend utilising grassroots sports and digital innovations to encourage physical activity. My research project responds to these recommendations by designing a videogame-based digital platform that promotes fun to enhance the affective benefits of physical activity in public playspaces.

Pickup basketball presents a unique opportunity for designing a sports technology innovation that responds to the physical inactivity issue. Played by millions around the world, pickup basketball is an autonomous social sports activity motivated by fun and immediate gratification. Accordingly, my practice-based research project addresses the design question: How can I design a videogame-based sports technology innovation for pickup basketball, that is compliant with the social practice and the spatiotemporal norms of the sport? My response employs a meaning-driven innovation method theorised by Donald Norman and Roberto Verganti, and a playful design approach guided by a personal design hypothesis I call compliant sports augmentation.

My research project contributes to Games Studies perspectives that seek to augment everyday activities with new digital elements to afford playful and creative experiences. 2K-Reality demonstrates how a playful design can augment grassroots sports make-believe in public playspaces. Based on participant-observer interpretations, I argue that 2K-Reality changes the meaning of playing and watching pickup basketball without impeding the norms of the practice. Spectators using 2K-Reality actively participate in pickup basketball games and provide players with an opportunity to perform on the `big stage' - a universal and motivating sports fantasy.

My original contribution to knowledge is the 2K Reality sports technology design artefact and my Compliant Sports Augmentation Framework, which offers perspectives for designing sports technology that respects and cultivates the existing norms and values of casual grassroots sport.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Media and Communication
Subjects Ubiquitous Computing
Computer Gaming and Animation
Keyword(s) Augmented reality
Sports videogames
Grassroots sport
Deliberate play
Urban play spaces
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Created: Thu, 12 Dec 2019, 10:10:37 EST by Adam Rivett
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