“While the urge to play is a human universal, gaming cultures differ widely across different societies – that goes for the games people enjoy as well as how they enjoy them. You can play with interactive media alone or to socialise, to compete or to relax, at home or in the street. What is play and what’s in a game?”
In “The space to play“, Matt Jones, director of user experience design for Nokia Design Multimedia, explores themes from his research into the universal human urge to play â€“ and how it relates to the way we design our technology, our environments and our future.
“Lucky Wander Boy â€“ the microsurgeon winner” is the title of a story about a man who finds a purpose through and is ruined by his obsession with video games. It is written by D.B. Weiss, who is currently in the headlines for working on the script for a movie adaption of the “Halo” video game series.
In “Gaming International“, Jim Rossignol, a British technology author specialising in video games, tells us about his experiences in Seoul and compares European and Asian approaches to gaming.
“Mobile gaming â€“ the troubled teenage years” is the title of a contribution by technology writer Stuart Dredge, in which he takes a look at the future of mobile gaming, focusing on how mobile games could move beyond the familiar hits like Tetris and Pac-Man to new concepts blending innovation and connectivity.
In “Games in spite of themselves“, Auriea Harvey and MichaÃ«l Samyn of the Belgian design studio Tale of Tales discuss “The Endless Forest”, a multiplayer game in which everybody plays a deer.
In “Playing by creating“, David Edery, the Worldwide Games Portfolio Planner for Xbox Live Arcade (Microsoft) tells us why we should be excited about user-generated content.
“Playing the news“: games are the new news, argues Gonzalo Frasca, a video game theorist and developer, currently researching serious gaming at IT University of Copenhagen, and the co-founder of Powerful Robot Games, a studio known for its work on election video games as well as its newsgaming.com project.
In “Three play effects â€“ Eliza, Tale-Spin and SimCity“, Noah Wardrip-Fruin, a digital media creator and scholar whose current work focuses on digital fiction and play, looks at three different models of what we experience through play.
Finally “Interaction as an aesthetic event“, is the title of the contribution by media theorist Lev Manovich, a Professor of Visual Arts at UCSD, in which he takes a look at the playful user interaction in recent cell phone models and other personal information technology.