Games and Interaction design

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Games meets Interaction design

I was fortunate enough to attend a seminar as part of the london design festival, the primary focus of which was to examine the disciplines of interaction design and games design, and to see where there is an intersection, what opportunities there are for cross-pollination of ideas. The event comprised two presentations, one from Ben Cerveny which looks like it might have been an adaptation from his reboot presentation "At play in the garden" . Ben began by examining the process of play, proposing (IIRC) that interaction is a subset of play, and by describing the components that comprise any given interaction. It was a fascinating presentation, Ben is a fast talker! Wish I'd taken some notes now, admittedly.

The second presentation was from from Durrell Bishop, a partner in LuckyBite , (who appear to be based about 2 minutes away from my house). Durrell's background seems to be more focussed on the physical aspects of interaction design as opposed to screen based, and he has been a senior tutor on the interaction design course at the rca . He gave several examples of his work, and some of the work of his students (a lovely finger puppets example from Philip Worthington . Check out the lineriders example too. v tasty ).

The ringleader for the event was Nico MacDonald , who did an excellent job of fielding some disparate and passionate contributions from the presenters and audience. The majority of the audience was from the interaction design field (as opposed to games) and there was definitely a feeling that they wanted to get involved in the game design process and that they felt shut out somehow. Some examples of the crossover of interaction design companies with game creation came with the use of amberlight to tune the experience of both eyetoy play and singstar. I'd argue that interaction design is not ignored or excluded by game creators, but that interaction design is implicitly part of game design. Game designers HAVE to have an indepth and intimate understanding of interaction design for the player to have a meaningful experience without the awkwardness and barriers associated with bad interaction design. I guess however their knowledge is less formalised than that of a pure interaction designer.

All in all, a valuable event, look forward to the next talk "Point and schtick : can interactivity make you laugh?" on October 20th.


At 11:45 AM, Blogger Tom said...

Thanks for the write-up. Yes, it was a very good event, run as part of the InSync Programme. Anyone interested in attending the next InSync event, "Point and Schtick" should email insync@westking.ac.uk


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