12-3 | Editor's Note

Welcome to The American Journal of Play’s special issue on games, play, and urban environments, another in our series of theme issues. This special issue appears as play itself, both outdoors and indoors, has been abruptly curtailed to fit the shifting regulations and safety concerns surrounding the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. To spotlight new scholarship and offer fresh perspectives on the relationship between play and space, guest editors Sybille Lammes and Dale Leorke have gathered a series of articles exploring this spatial relationship in video game play and design. Following their guest editors’ foreword, they begin with a roundtable discussion among the authors of Pervasive Games: Theory and Design—Markus Montola, Jaakko Stenros, and Annika Waern—about the evolution of pervasive games and the research it has inspired. Next, Troy Innocent and Dale Leorke take a new look at the concept of urban play, drawing on a case study of a location-based, augmented-reality game codesigned by Innocent. Hugh Davies offers an alternative cultural genealogy of Pokémon GO focused on the connections between Japan’s seasonal play and the popular augmented reality mobile game. Mia Consalvo and Andrew Phelps review the potential for game design to reveal the complex relationships between urban space, social class, and mental health through purposeful player navigation and narrative architecture. Hamza Bashandy closes the issue with an examination Minecraft’s contemporary use in community mapping and architectural design.