• Technology for Situated and Emergent Play: a Bridging Concept and Design Agenda

    Despite the capacity of play to spontaneously emerge in our daily life, the scope of application of play design in HCI is generally narrower, specifically targeting areas of pure leisure, or wholly utilitarian and productive play. Here we focused on the value of play design to respond to and support our natural gravitation towards emergent play that helps to meet our social and emotional needs. We developed a bridging concept: Technology for Situated and Emergent Play, i.e. technology design that supports playful engagement that emerges interwoven with our everyday activities outside leisure, and that enriches these activities with socioemotional value. Our intermediate-level contribution has value as a synthesis piece: it weaves together theories of play and play design and bridges them with concrete design examples. As a bridging concept, it contributes: i) theoretical grounding; ii) inspiring design exemplars that illustrate the theory and foreground its value; and iii) design articulations in the form of valuable experiential qualities and design features. Our work can help to focus design agendas for playful technology and inspire future designs in this space. This project was led by Ferran Altarriba Bertran and co-authored with Elena Márquez Segura and Katherine Isbister.