Reading Mary Flanagan’s article, the notion of critical play leading to new kinds of play, and making familiar types of play unfamiliar, aligns most with my own goals.
In games and in other interactive work, the mode of of play is often defined by the medium being used: rectangular displays, keyboards and mice, or video game controllers all define the mode of input and output of an experience that is expected of the genre. In the players’ minds, all input is interpreted by the game to correspond to actions in the virtual play environment: movement of the joystick is understood to move the character around in space. While these mappings are often ingrained to the point that it feels second nature to players, they nonetheless constitute a barrier between the physical world and the virtual world of the game. Removing these barriers, then, through use of systems that map more directly to human perception and interaction – can lead to familiar experiences in the physical realm being translated in the virtual realm. My explorations in virtual and augmented reality reflect this proposition.