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Christina Wodtke // In Defense of Childish Things // UX Week 16


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“When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” C. S Lewis

When we become professionals in a modern world of specialization, we set aside many of the things that made us happy as children: play, drawing, storytelling. But is this the right decision? Paintings by Bruegel show adults playing games in the street. Behavioral evolutionists have discovered storytelling is a survival trait. Most great thinkers draw, from Einstein and theoretical mathematicians to composers and choreographers like Merce Cunningham. When we set aside these fundamental human activities, are we really being grownups? Or are we crippling our ability to excel in exchange for the semblance of adulthood?

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Christina Wodtke // In Defense of Childish Things // UX Week 16

  1. 1. In Defense of Childish Things Christina Wodtke Curious Human
  2. 2. I was president of the mime club
  3. 3. I wasn’t very popular • Photo of elvish box
  4. 4. I was bullied. Can’t image why. • Photos of mylar comics
  5. 5. Every day, I’d go to my best friend’s house where we’d pretend to be hardy boys
  6. 6. This saved my life
  7. 7. Somehow I drifted from this. Taught to hate that person
  8. 8. One year it was play
  9. 9. I’ve given many talks on why games and play are worth studying as designers
  10. 10. Surprise & delight
  11. 11. AFFECTIONATE compassionate friendly loving open hearted sympathetic tender warm ENGAGED absorbed alert curious engrossed enchanted entranced fascinated interested intrigued involved spellbound stimulated AFFECTIONATE compassionate friendly loving open hearted sympathetic tender warm CONFIDENT empowered open proud safe secure EXCITED amazed animated ardent aroused astonished dazzled eager energetic enthusiastic giddy invigorated lively passionate surprised vibrant HOPEFUL expectant encouraged optimistic GRATEFUL appreciative moved thankful touched INSPIRED amazed awed wonder JOYFUL amused delighted glad happy jubilant pleased tickled EXHILARATED blissful ecstatic elated enthralled exuberant radiant rapturous thrilled PEACEFUL calm clear headed comfortable centered content equanimous fulfilled mellow quiet relaxed relieved satisfied serene still tranquil trusting REFRESHED enlivened rejuvenated renewed rested restored revived (c) 2005 by Center for Nonviolent Communication Website:
  12. 12. Frustration
  13. 13. AFRAID apprehensive dread foreboding frightened mistrustful panicked petrified scared suspicious terrified wary worried ANNOYED aggravated dismayed disgruntled displeased exasperated frustrated impatient irritated irked CONFUSED ambivalent baffled bewildered dazed hesitant lost mystified perplexed puzzled torn DISCONNECTED alienated aloof apathetic bored cold detached distant distracted indifferent numb removed uninterested withdrawn EMBARRASSED ashamed chagrined flustered guilty mortified self-conscious DISQUIET agitated alarmed discombobulated disconcerted disturbed perturbed rattled restless shocked startled surprised troubled turbulent turmoil uncomfortable uneasy unnerved unsettled upset YEARNING envious jealous longing nostalgic pining wistful PAIN agony anguished bereaved devastated grief heartbroken hurt lonely miserable regretful remorseful SAD depressed dejected despair despondent disappointed discouraged disheartened forlorn gloomy heavy hearted hopeless melancholy unhappy wretched TENSE anxious cranky distressed distraught edgy fidgety frazzled irritable jittery nervous overwhelmed restless stressed out VULNERABLE fragile guarded helpless insecure leery reserved sensitive shaky AVERSION animosity appalled contempt disgusted dislike hate horrified hostile repulsed FATIGUE beat burnt out depleted exhausted lethargic listless tired weary worn out ANGRY enraged furious incensed indignant irate livid outraged resentful(c) 2005 by Center for Nonviolent Communication Website:
  14. 14. Ravaja, Niklas, et al. The Psychophysiology of Video Gaming: Phasic Emotional Responses to Game Events. Digital Games Research Association International Conference 2005.
  15. 15. Types vs Personas
  16. 16. Grace (62/ female/ widowed/ Little Rock, AR.) “I like playing my favorite games online, but if I can play with friends, well that’s even better!” Personal Background: Her husband has passed on. She has two grown kids, both of whom live far away. She misses the kids, but has a fairly large circle of friends that she spends time with. Technical Proficiency: Limited. Can use her browser and her email. MS Word confuses her, and she doesn’t like using it. Doesn’t know what an OS is. Tends to click yes if the browser prompts her to do anything, and will click wildly until things work. History with games: Plays crossword puzzles daily and saves them. Plays card games, PhotoJam, but is offended by South Park cartoons Game’s opportunity: If Grace can be convinced to participate in community activities, she will become a loyal user of the site. She needs to be sheltered from the sick and twisted content, however.2001
  17. 17. Richard Bartle Drawing: Frank Caron
  18. 18. 4 Key Engagement Styles in Social Gaming Compete CollaborateExplore Express Amy Jo Kim @amyjokim
  19. 19. Satisficers Self-discoveryOptimizers Socializers What if Amazon was a Game?
  20. 20. Loop de Loop
  21. 21. This is a core loop for a very simple game. Start with fish eggs, that you grow into fish that you sell to buy more valuable fish eggs
  23. 23. What is your core loop? I get knocked down You ain't ever gonna keep me down. But I get up again
  24. 24. Game design will make you rock
  25. 25. The world asks us to be ever more productive. Why do we agree?
  26. 26. Rage killers shown to be play deprived
  27. 27. Gunn teens are killing themselves.
  28. 28. Our hours are longer. We’re never unplugged. Our games aren’t play, they are compulsion, at war with our jobs to own us.
  29. 29. Our games are poisoned, and childish games considered … childish
  30. 30. Play has certain understood properties • Exist for it’s own sake • Played voluntarily • Play is special and set apart (magic circle) • Play is fun • Player play by rules (which can be fluid) The Elements of Play: Toward a Philosophy and a Definition of Play Scott G. Eberle
  31. 31. My favorite is “an end to itself.” “trying to twist play to an end vitiates it, making it seem less and less like play” --Scott Eberle, Museum of Play
  32. 32. Scott Kim’s Four Types of Play
  33. 33. That’s not a game Said by no kid ever
  34. 34. We are born to tell stories. • How many TED talks tells that
  35. 35. Evolution
  36. 36. The ur-shape
  37. 37. How can we use this?
  38. 38. This requires harnessing the power of DOODLES Which means we have a picture of Sunni Brown.
  39. 39. Evolultion of marks
  40. 40. Evolultion of marks
  41. 41. Let’s make some marks
  42. 42. Better than a stick figure
  43. 43. You can make these figures point
  44. 44. Ivan Brunetti Geo-figures
  45. 45. Star Figures
  46. 46. Students won’t do the reading Challenge Accepted!
  47. 47. A childish way
  48. 48. Start your day with something you like to do. (NOT EMAIL.)
  49. 49. Don’t Skip Recess
  50. 50. Use what you have to make new things
  51. 51. Don’t eat at your desk. Drag your coworkers out with you.
  52. 52. Stay curious
  53. 53. OKRs Metrics Data Driven
  54. 54. I don’t like the word “OR”
  55. 55. I like the word “AND”
  56. 56. The end