Play in social and tangible interactions

“Many of the interactions seen in tangible and social computing are essentially playful. Play can take on many forms, but they all involve people exploring a conceptual space of possibilities. When designing these ’embodied’ interactions, it is therefore helpful to have a good understanding of play – this session aims to do just that. We’ll compare the role of interaction designers to that of game designers, who concern themselves primarily with the creation of rule-sets. By using rules, designers have unique opportunities for conveying messages. We’ll discuss the emergent behaviour of many social and tangible systems and propose that gardening might be a helpful metaphor. This requires designers to sketch in code and hardware, build prototypes, and observe their use ‘in the wild’. Ultimately, we hope to encourage designers to put themselves on equal footing with the people using their systems, so that they can playfully grow meaningful interactions together.” – (Kars Alfrink – IxDA Library)

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