Everybody needs play. But somehow as we grow older people just seem to forget how to play. I am doing a research project this semester. I am interested in why people play and why not and how I can use these insights to design for playful systems that are inviting. As I was quite stuck in my process, reading dry papers and thinking about the subject without getting anywhere, I decided to do a little field observation in the hope to get some inspiration and insights. So I made a simple swing in about an hour, hung it outside and observed as everybody was coming out of class. Although most people passed by without interacting with the swing, there were a few people who did try it out and played with it. I hope they enjoyed it. I certainly did.
Extended story: The next day my swing was gone. So I boldly walked up to the central security office of the university to check if they had perhaps taken my swing :p “A swing you say?” *looking at me like I was gone mad* They obviously didn’t have a clue, so I made a new one and hung it inside the main building (next to the world press photo exhibition). I’m still not sure what my project will bring, but at least I had a good time and I think some others did as well.
Do you ever play? Do you ever feel ashamed to play in public places?