Symposium Themes

Ludic Interfaces

The infantilization of play, that is, the historical association of playing with children and non-serious activities, has led to the systematic exclusion of play and fun from 'serious' creative, scientific and technological investigations. While the ludic (i.e., play-related) dimensions of artistic creativity have been variously explored recently in both art works and in scholarly research, the interactions between technological developments and the pleasures described as 'fun', are few and far between.

In fact, the history of technological development has more instances of people enjoying technologies than of those willing to acknowledge or systematically deliberate on such pleasures. It has been argued recently that the phenomenal development of the game and entertainment industries, primarily driven by various technologies that engender the expanded exploration of embodied pleasures, has highlighted the potential of technologically-driven experiences of fun.

However, there are those who assert that there is still much more need to investigate the complicities between technology and pleasure in these experiences and to develop alternative modalities of exploring the technological possibilities of pleasure and vice versa. In this theme, we seek to address the ways in which fun and enjoyment interact with and complicate new media technologies both in its design, creative development, everyday uses and discursive articulations. We especially encourage works that critically explore the entertainment industries and their use of recent technologies.

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