Play is a human thing. Before games, even before language, we play. Play is the first tactic we use for understanding our environment and each other. Let's forget about "gamification" for a second (phew!) and look at where unstructured play can take us in digital experiences. Tablets and smartphones provide a whole new context for interaction, and by all accounts it seems that whatever experiences arise there, they will be far more playful than on the desktop. The networked entertainment system, already the site of much of the culture around 'gaming', is branching out to offer all sorts of different media experiences. How can play help make sense of this new landscape? Both Planetary by Bloom Studio and Journey by That Game Company explore new types of contemplative play and help define a new genre in gaming and applications.
9th–13th March 2012