Artifact is a journal focused on practice-based design research, and aims to explore conditions, issues and tasks pertaining to design development in a broad sense. In this volume of Artifact, different authors explore “the design concept”, and the designers’ social activities. Continue reading
Patrick Prax recently defended his Ph.D. thesis at Uppsala University, about co-creation, game design and alternative media. When are players able to participate to the creation of a game world and its rules? How can they appropriate and subvert them? Which meaning is generated? Continue reading
What if we could drop medical students right into the lives of aging people? “We Are Alfred” uses a VR headset, headphones, and a hand-tracking device to immerse users in the story of a 74-year-old patient — the titular Alfred. Continue reading
1979 Revolution: Black Friday was finally published this weekend – an hybrid of documentary game, adventure and narrative set in Iran during the political unrest leading to the fall of the Shah. Continue reading
Film director Chris Milk has recently called VR “an empathy-machine”. But is it that simple? Elisabeth Sutherland (MIT) wrote an impressive thesis with Fox Harrell to take a deeper critical look at that claim. Continue reading
The Great Palermo is a free interactive ballad about street food, folklore and culture of the city of Palermo, Sicily. With a kaleidoscopic, iterative approach to the game experience, it nicely demonstrates how folk stories and traditional narratives may be transposed digitally, without losing the “feel” and structure of oral storytelling.
The Great Palermo is available for PC, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS. Continue reading
How do we interact with physical objects during LARPs and mixed/tabletop role-playing games? Costumes, computers, pen and paper are not neutral and passive elements, but change and are changed during RPG sessions. They work together with narrative and ludic elements: if we think about things as social elements, how do they make role-playing games work?
Rafael Bienia, PhD at Maastricht University, draws upon the fields of game studies, and science, technology and society studies to conduct ethnographic fieldwork among role-playing communities in Germany. Continue reading
Christy Dena and Eric Zimmerman are awesome game designers, educators and writers. And it’s really great reading Christy interviewing Eric about his design approach, and his relationship with the humanities: “I think my background as an artist has helped me always see games as a form as culture”. Continue reading
A free ebook by Karen Schrier and colleagues, it provides research and techniques for designing games for a variety of curricular needs. In particular, I’ve found interesting two chapters about games and empathy – one in the context of teaching history, the other about games and ethics. Continue reading
Design fiction, writes Josh Tanenbaum, uses fictional depictions of future technology to tell a story about the world in which that technology is situated: it uses narrative structures to explore and communicate the possible futures for technology. Julian Bleecker of Near Future Labs is one of the first and foremost proponents of these techniques, and he has recently collaborated with Mobile Life Stockholm to create a fictional “IKEA Catalog from the future”. He writes “In the end, our Design Fiction Ikea catalog is a way to talk about a near future. It is not a specification, nor is it an aspiration or prediction. The work the catalog does – like all Design Fictions – is to encourage conversations about the kinds of near futures we’d prefer, even if that requires us to represent near futures we fear”.
Read Bleecker’s writeup and download the Design Fiction IKEA Catalog at https://medium.com/design-fictions/an-ikea-catalog-from-the-near-future-e293938148bc
Josh Tanenbaum’s article on Design Fiction and HCI is available at http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/2648414 (behind a paywall)