While previous research on clusters has shed light on innovation at macro and meso levels, little research has explored the impact of co-location for individual creativity. Additionally, the significance of tranquility and solitude for creativity also remains largely unexplored. To explore these two aspects, this paper examines forces that matter for the creativity of game workers in Shanghai. The results manifest that, online platforms and learning through projects play a noticeable role for the individual creativity of game developers. While the value of co-location and local buzz has been stressed much in the literature, it turns out to be less significant for the creativity of most creative workers. Similarly, the role of attending temporary events is found to be less important as it claimed to be. Whereas research on the impact of tranquility and solitude for individual creativity has not been taken up sufficiently in economic geography, this research attaches high value to places and moments that creative workers can retreat from the buzzy environment to recover from attention fatigue.
Reference Gong, H., & Xin, X. (2019). Buzz and tranquility, what matters for creativity? A case study of the online games industry in Shanghai. Geoforum, 106, 105-114.
Huiwen Gong Post-Doctoral Research Associate Christian Albrechts University of Kiel, Germany
The interview transcript
Hello Huiwen, thank you for accepting this invitation to a coffee break, how are you doing?
I’m doing quite well, thank you.
I’m having today a Colombian black coffee as usual are you having any coffee today?
No, I’m having a green tea from China actually.
I really like that one too, I’m interested in a paper you wrote about tranquility and creativity in the games industry, could you please tell me what the paper was about?
Yes the paper was about individual creativity in the video game industry in Shanghai and in that paper we tried to explore what factors influence the individual creativity of game developers and as you know creative industries have become increasingly important in our modern life so we want to investigate what factors really influence the individual creativity of game developers.
I see that a key notion of your paper is tranquility, could you please tell me how do you understand this concept within your research?
Tranquility has two meanings in the specific context: the first is more referred to quietness in the physical world, which means that man-made noise is reduced to the minimum degree, and the other is more related to the mental quietness, which means that creative workers can temporarily isolate themselves or disconnect themselves from the external world so that they can really use their brain and mind to do the creative thinking.
This is a very interesting notion, thank you, and which ones were your main findings?
Well that there were two main findings, the first is that co-location or co-presence in space, which means funds or actors located closely to each other; this kind of co-location actually didn’t play very important though in our finding, but rather creative workers benefit more by interacting with project members or other game developers and so also they benefit more from learning by the internet, and the second finding which was more exciting for me also personally is that we find that actually creative workers need a lot of solitude or tranquility and isolation from the external world because they were somehow overloaded by a lot of information, so they need some kind of private space and isolation in order to digest the information and also to recover from this attention footage.
Thanks I found it very exciting too I also want to know which one was your main motivation in doing this paper?
I am very much interested in the individual creativity of creative workers and for this specific paper I was mainly motivated by a talk given by professor Richard Schimer in a conference in 2016 where, he talked about role of disconnection isolation for individual creativity but at that time there was no empirical work really dealing with this issue and that really motivates me to work out this further in the video games industry in Shanghai.
That sounds really really interesting and could you tell me which ones would you consider are the key policy implications based on your findings?
I think urban planners can learn something from this research particularly in designing creative space in cities I think in order to design this kind of creative spaces urban planners really need to pay a lot of attention to the creative workers need for isolation and temporary disconnection absence from the external world so maybe in the future urban planners can try to design some space where creative workers can go and also you know have some temporary space of their own and then they can really think creatively and widely and then perform the kind of creative work they are required to do.
Thank you for that and for taking the time to have a go for break with me it was a pleasure for me to have you here and I hope to see you next time.
Thank you as well bye thank you for watching if you’re interested in more details about this academic publication you can find here the link below find us on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube or listen to our Podcast on Spotify see you next time bye.Tags: Buzz, creativity, Development, Online game, Shanghai, Tranquility