Monday, June 16th, 2015, 6pm

Prof. Ben Schouten: Playful Empowerment

“All play means something”, that is what Huizinga said (Homo Ludens). It can turn an everyday practice into a special experience that can gather us around a common goal or theme. You can encounter that experience in everyday live, whether it concerns your health or your education, in politics and even science. More often elements of play and serious games are used to seduce, motivate, learn or persuade. That is a positive and encouraging development. However, who decides upon the rules? And are there losers next to the winners?
In this talk I will elaborate on the qualities of play in relationship to what we like to call civic interaction design. I will show how designers together with citizens can use play and other civic media to enhance livability in modern city life and how this changes the relationships between citizens, designers and public institutions. By doing so new societal challenges arise, emerging from the use of games and other playful elements in our media saturated world that go beyond the ‘magic circle’ of play.

Prof. Panos Markopoulos: Head Up Games

„The games of tomorrow should look more like the games of the past”. With this slogan, we developed a genre of games that we termed Head Up Games, as games that try to recreate traditional play patterns, and to restore some of the benefits that play has been touted to have. We present the original ambition, a range of games developed, empirical evidence regarding the quality of the games, and design challenges in making this game. The presentation will end with some open challenges for the future of head-up games, and for design methods for working with children.