Designing Digital Play
The purpose of this course is to explore play as an expressive form and creative framework outside of the domain of games. As such, the learning goals and activities are not oriented towards game design. This course will focus on drawing into the digital design domain inspiration and practices from play and computer games.
This course is designed to expand the intellectual and professional scope of interaction design students.
Prospective students should notice that this is not a game design course. The purpose of this course is to explore play as an expressive form and creative framework outside of the domain of games. As such, the learning goals and activities are not oriented towards game design. Play is at the core of many interactive experiences, from digital and non-digital games to online services, social networks, and even electronic appliances. However, we don’t often stop and think about the nature of play, and how it is actually designed, implemented, and tested.
This course will focus on drawing into the digital design domain inspiration and practices from play and computer games. It will not be, however, a game development course. Students will be encouraged to create playful objects and/or interactions, but the course is not centred on game design theory. Rather, this course is focused on play theory and design research.
In the first part of the course, students will be introduced to the classic theories of play, asking them to explore how playfulness and games provide powerful emotional, social and cognitive experiences. This first part of the course will be highly theoretical, focused on reading and discussing two essential texts in play studies.
The second half of the course will center on exploring play from an interaction and game design perspective. Students will become familiar with some basic design principles in traditional fields, and how they can be leveraged into digital play. Students will also begin to experiment with creating play dynamics in real-world domains. The ultimate goal of the course is to provide students with the opportunity to explore how play might be fruitfully used in a range of design contexts.
Designing Digital Play is an interaction design course that provides students with essential knowledge and skills in the subjects of critical technical practice, prototyping, game and play design, and design methodologies. By engaging students with the practice of designing, developing, and testing playful digital experiences, students will learn how to apply design theory to create playable experiences, and how to use prototypes as arguments in design reflection.
Intended learning outcomes
After the course, the student should be able to:
- Discuss the cultural and social importance of the concept of play
- Describe how play is used in the development of interactive services and games
- Explore and theorize how play can be evoked from design practices and principles
- Design and implement play experiences on digital environments
- Test the success of a particular play approach to an interactive concept
Ordinary examExam type:
C: Submission of written work, External (7-point scale)
C1G: Submission of written work for groups