It makes an interesting read, though of course I’ve had this same conversation many, many times with Andy (and are we going to write that book some time Andy?). I still begrudgingly like the way he expresses many of his thoughts on interactivity and play, which not surprisingly align with my own work, writing and research:
I’m increasingly interested not so much in what play is, but in trying to work out what makes it good – what makes this toy, this game, this installation, better than others. Thinking of interaction design not in terms of novelty or innovation but rather looking at each piece critically, in terms of the values and meanings and pleasures it can offer us. Are there any great works of interactive art? Which are they? Why are they so good? These are the questions I’m interested in finding answers to at the moment.
Simple as they seem these are, indeed, the very hard questions. We both feel that the answer lies in understanding what makes things playful I suspect, but that’s a really tough question. As I recently wrote for the Game / Play exhibition we tend to know play when we see it, but have a hard time trying to define it and perhaps that is the charm of it and why it remains engaging.