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.
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.
Post-Doctoral Research Associate
Christian Albrechts University of Kiel, Germany
Visit us at