The role of play

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Play is seen as an activity that is fun, voluntary, offers escape, and is fundamentally exciting. Play is however, more than that; it is a working model of flexibility! There is a vital link between play, psychological development and learning. Moreover, the importance of play has gained importance by modern gaming, social networks and digital culture. Huizinga pointed out that play is of profound value to our culture. In his book Homo Ludens, play is restricted to a specific time and place. In the chair Design of Playful Interactions, we focus on new forms of play, which are integrated in daily activities (work, education) or other practices, e.g. art or citizenship, and share several qualities: exploration, communication, personalization and expression. In my lecture I will "play the ball", highlighting our educational and research efforts to design interactive toys, games, playgrounds, interactive art and (entertainment) applications. I will sketch future developments and relate these to examples in digital culture.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherTechnische Universiteit Eindhoven
ISBN (Print)978-90-386-3059-5
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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