BOLLOCKS!! Designing Pervasive Games That Play with the Social Rules of Built Environments

  • Conor Linehan
  • Nick Bull
  • Ben Kirman
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8253)


We propose that pervasive games designed with mechanics that are specifically in opposition with, or disruptive of, social rules of the environment in which they are played, have unique potential to provide interesting, provocative experiences for players. We explore this concept through the design and evaluation of an experimental game prototype, Shhh!, inspired by the juvenile game Bollocks, and implemented on Android mobile devices, which challenges players to make loud noises in libraries. Six participants played the game before engaging in semi-structured interviews, explored through inductive thematic analysis. Results suggest that the game provoked in players a heightened awareness of social rules, as well as a complex social dilemma of whether or not to act. We conclude by presenting a model for designing games that play with the social, as well as physical, rules of the environments in which they are set.


Pervasive Games Social rules Social Context Unwritten rules Non-players Critical Games 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Conor Linehan
    • 1
  • Nick Bull
    • 1
  • Ben Kirman
    • 1
  1. 1.Lincoln Social Computing Research CentreUniversity of LincolnUK

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