Mischief Humor in Smart and Playable Cities

Part of the Gaming Media and Social Effects book series (GMSE)


In smart cities we can expect to witness human behavior that is not necessarily different from human behavior in present-day cities. There will also be demonstrations, flash mobs, urban games, and even organized events to provoke the smart city establishment. Smart cities have sensors and actuators that maybe can be accessed by makers and civic hackers. Smart cities can also offer their data to civic hackers, who may create useful applications for city dwellers. Smart cities will have bugs that can be exploited for fun or appropriation. Humor is an important aspect of our daily activities and experiences. In this chapter, we explore how humor can become part of smart and playable cities. We do this by investigating the role of humor in game environments. In games, we have accidental humor, for example because of bugs, and we have humor that occurs because a gamer wants it to happen. This latter type of humor can be produced by looking for bugs, by not following the rules of the game, or by intentionally creating situations that lead to humorous events in the game. This may certainly include humor at the expense of others. We investigate how such views of game humor can find analogs in the humor that may appear and be created in smart and playable cities.


Playable cities Computational humor Accidental humor Hacking Trolling Griefing Bullying Bugs Smart cities Games 



I am grateful to Ben Barker (Pan Studio, Fig. 2 Hello Lamp Post), Matt Rosier (Chomko and Rosier, Fig. 3 Shadowing) and Dan Archer (Happy City Lab, Fig. 4, Idea: Dan Archer, Drawings: JP Kalonji) for giving me permission to use pictures from their projects.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Imagineering InstituteIskandar PuteriMalaysia
  2. 2.Faculty EEMCS, Human Media InteractionUniversity of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands

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