[Paper] Design for Existential Crisis

A really interesting CHI paper by Ann Light, Irina Shklovski and Alison Powell. “What should designers do with their design skills and orientation to the future as right-wing populism sweeps through politics; climate predictions worsen; mass migration (within/across countries) escalates refugee numbers; new classes of automation threaten workers’ jobs and austerity policies destabilize society?”

The paper is in open access now at https://doi.org/10.1145/3027063.3052760

[Article] Interdependent Wearables (for Play): A Strong Concept for Design

A paper by Katherine Isbister, Kaho Abe and Michael Karlesky, at CHI 2017. “We present a strong concept for design: Interdependent Wearables (for play): wearables designed to require shared attention and mutual awareness, with interdependent functionality that encourages and rewards collocated interaction. The concept arose through design, development, and public exhibition of Hotaru, a collocated social game that uses wearables as game controllers. Hotaru has been shown in festivals and also formally playtested with 62 individuals. To more fully articulate the Interdependent Wearables strong concept, we compared this system’s design with wearable and embodied systems for play and other purposes, and drew upon relevant HCI theory. The work is of benefit to those in the HCI/UX community focused on the design and development of social wearable technologies, especially those interested in supporting collocated interaction.”

The paper is available in open access at http://dl.acm.org/authorize?N35498

Interactive narrative: The Great Palermo, by We Are Müesli

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

PhD Thesis: Role Playing Materials

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 interviews Eric Zimmerman

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