Gaver, design for homo ludens. still
1. p. 2
The real revolution is that
computing is leaving the confines of task-oriented, focused, rational work, and
joining us in our homes, on the street, at parties, on lonely mountaintops –
everywhere, in short, where we leave work behind to do the things we really
want to do.
As computing has emerged
from the office and laboratory, it seems to have brought along values of the
workplace: concerns for clarity, efficiency and productivity; a preoccupation (全神貫注)
with finding solutions to problems. It is as if they mirror only the ethnographic
view that ordinary life requires work to achieve, and neglect the joyful, poetic,
and spiritually rewarding nature of the lives we might find.
The idea of Homo Ludens – humans defined as playful creatures (Huizinga, J.,
1950) – is an antidote (解毒劑) to assumptions that technology should provide clear,
efficient solutions to practical problems.
4. p. 3
An aimless walk in the city centre, a moment of awe, a short-lived
obsession, a joke – all are defining and valuable facets of our humanity, as
worthy of respect as planning, logic or study.
Play goes well beyond
entertainment: it’s a serious business.
PLAY vs. GAMING
Taking sides, victory, and defeat, all irrelevant in
play, are the chief requisites of game. In play one is carefree; in a game one is
anxious about winning.
(Kaprow, 2003, p. 122)
Play, of the sort that might provide a relief from our obsession with work, is
not the same as games or pre-programmed entertainment. Not only are these
forms of ‘play’ fundamentally goal-oriented, but in striving for a defined
outcome they impose rules about the right and wrong ways to go about things.
PLAY vs. ENTERTAINMENT
6. p. 4
Entertainments themselves are designed
with the same concern for efficiently and predictably producing a result – an
‘experience’ – as any online marketing site is for producing a sale.
On the contrary, it co-opts (將...選為新成員) play into the same singleminded, results-oriented, problem-fixated mindset that we have inherited
from the workplace.
In order to truly leave work behind, we need to embrace an open-ended, selfmotivated form of play. This is an engagement that has no fixed path or end,
but instead involves a wide-ranging conversation with the circumstances and
situations that give it rise.
7. p. 8
ludic design 較少談 value, 而較多 interaction concept
More recent examples of ludic design focus less on the novelty of the values
they support and more on exploring a different conception of interaction
itself. They let go of the idea of desirable goals or outcomes to the point that
one can say they aren’t ‘for’ anything at all. Instead, they create situations
that people can explore and interpret for a variety of reasons and from
diverse frames of reference. As goals are relinquished (放棄), so are notions of
problems to be solved or preferred courses of interaction to be encouraged.
Instead, designs are better thought of as offering resources to people to make
use of as they see fit.
8. p. 10
...we expected them to orient to the Tracker
around issues of noise and disruption. Instead, they engaged with it in many
different ways: as a window onto places they had been or wanted to go, as a
spur to wanderlust or an uneasy reminder of the environmental effects of air
travel, as a puzzle to be solved, an aesthetic object and an alternative to
It simply created a situation that people could explore
conceptually, finding their own meanings and significances over time.
9. p. 11
They raise these issues, but
don’t provide answers. Instead, they offer avenues for people to experience
life from new perspectives, and to consider hypotheses about who we might be
or what we might care about. They hint at possibilities for technologies that
we could use in our everyday life, not to accomplish well-defined tasks, but to
expand in undefined directions.
IMPLY FOR METHODOLOGIES:
First, scientific approaches to design need to be complemented by more
personal, idiosyncratic ones.
Instead, designers need to use their personal experiences as
sounding boards for the systems they create.
At their most prosaic, Probe materials can resemble stylised
questionnaires (see Boehner et al.. 2007), but more uncompromising (不妥協的) versions
thwart (反對) easy interpretation, disrupting stereotyped roles and requiring active
sense-making both from researchers and the researched. The returns from
such materials are neither clear nor definitive, but they are evocative,
Second, designing for Homo Ludens means allowing room for people to
Playing involves pursuing one’s inner narratives in
safe situations, through projective interpretation and action. If computational
devices channel people’s activities and perceptions too closely, then people
have to live out somebody else’s story, not their own (c.f. Wejchert, 2001).
12. 詮釋的調適, 之策略:
We have explored two primary tactics for encouraging interpretative
The first, embodied by the Drift Table and Plane Tracker
described earlier, involves creating situations that suggest topics for
consideration based on the resources they provide, while standing back from
offering clear recommendations about how such situations should be
construed. (self-effacing, 自我消音)
a second strategy is to exaggerate the content and authority of
interpretations offered by systems. This may serve as a provocation for people
to assert their own understandings as a correction.
13. p. 14
Whether employing under- or over-statement, both these strategies rely on
ambiguity to encourage appropriation. The first says too little, obliging users
to fill in the rest, while the second says too much, compelling them to correct
ambiguity gives space for
people to intermesh their own stories with those hinted at by technologies.
When systems are designed to be ambiguous, avoiding clear interpretation
and normative paths of action, it is impossible in principle to predict how
people will engage with them. In a very real sense, such designs are completed
by their users. Sometimes this can be left as a thought experiment, as the
Alternatives proposals were, for instance when implementation is difficult or
the ideas too simple to warrant the effort. But usually it is more satisfactory to
deploy such designs as prototypes to witness their completion through use.
Here again, the approach to studying designs in use benefits from a divergent,
personal approach rather than the convergent, objective one advocated by
traditional scientific perspectives.
After all, designs are not hypotheses to be
tested simply as true or false, successful or unsuccessful. They may be
approached at multiple levels, ranging from the aesthetic to the conceptual
and the personal to the cultural.
Last, and most important, pleasure comes before understanding, and
engagement before clarity.
Designing for Homo Ludens requires a new focus
that seeks intrigue and delight at all levels of design, from the aesthetics of
form and interaction, to functionality, to conceptual implications at
psychological, social and cultural levels.
This implies that designers cannot
stand back, pronouncing as experts on situations they do not engage with
personally.Instead, they need to seek a kind of empathy
technologies should not only reinforce pleasures that people know, but they
should suggest new ones as well. Designers cannot simply efface themselves
while seeking to fulfil people’s articulated desires.
And this implies that theories, those attempts to
analyse and abstract from the messy complexity of lived experience, will have
limited purchase and provide limited support. In the end, designers
themselves need to be Homo Ludens. We need to recognise that we are playful
creatures, and that our work depends on our play.
Now itseems we are over the brink and well into a transformation of research
methods, concepts, and practices: a ‘new paradigm’ (see Harrison et al., 2007)
for understanding technology. If we are lucky, this new paradigm won’t work –
it will play.