August 8, 2010

Blogs are great places to get peer-review on ideas before the ideas are fully formed.

So the big flaw with the model of types of play is that it doesn’t account for differences in types of play by social interaction.There is some progression of social interactive skill in the conference poster (actual paper is Manuscript In Preparation and will be done by the end of the year, I promise), however, this is much more general than I’d like. If it is going to integrate into the model, it needs to be truly play-specific instead of communication-general.

However, I’m having a hard time just making it into a Z-axis because there isn’t a continuous line of progression of development of the types of social interaction in play. I think.

And it is discontinuous, where some types of social interaction just don’t make any sense for certain types of play.

So anyway, let me list the types of social interaction that occur during play as I see it. Let me know if I’ve forgotten any and if you think they go in some specific order or hierarchy.

  • None. Solitary play.
  • Reciprocal emotional sharing (Baby and another smile at each other as in peek-a-boo or hey-look-at-me.)
  • Toleration (parallel play, no direct interaction)
  • Non-play competitive (“gimme that”)
  • Cooperative play with shared goals (“how high can we stack it?”)
  • Collaborative pretend (shared setting of goals and reality-setting)
  • Competitive-collaborative pretend (“I’ll be the princess and you’re the servant” “I’m the superhero and you be the bad-guy”)
  • Competitive, no winner (shared, but mutually exclusive goals, e.g. Tag, Keep-away, King-of-the-Mountain)
  • Competitive, with win condition (most traditional games)

Not all of these are possible in all types of play. I think. Maybe I’m wrong. And they seem to go roughly in a progression from youngest-to-oldest the way I listed them, but some of them all develop in one place (sociodramatic).


A spot on Attack of the Show about designing game controllers for people with disabilities brought the Wii Assist team at University of Delaware to my attention.

University of Delaware

Games make a difference

August 2, 2010

Jane McGonigal has created a game called SuperBetter, which turns the rehabilitation process into a game.

SuperBetter covers an area on the play graph straddling pretend play and games with rules, with a similar footprint to Dungeons and Dragons or World of Warcraft except a little to the left (the pretend setting is self-directed), and larger footprint vertically (the gameplay is highly emergent from real-world experiences, pushing it lower, and it’s goals exist in the real-world and are quite serious, pushing its upper border upwards).

Note to self, perhaps I need a better vocabulary for talking about this.

Anyway, here is Jane talking about the origins of SuperBetter briefly:

and a longer video of her TED talk on the origin and purpose of her “serious” games.

Sarah Einstein writes

Redstone SFDisability is created by the ways in which we live. I couldn’t carry two five gallon buckets of water from a communal well to my house a few miles away or easily climb the steps of Machu Picchu in the thin air of the Andes. Because I am a privileged, twenty-first century American woman, this does not make me disabled, but if I were living another life, it could. I am able-bodied because the place where I live already accommodates the ways in which my body does not function optimally. What would a world look like that accommodated all kinds of bodies, all ways of communicating, every way of being an embodied human? How will the need to accommodate alien bodies influence how we accommodate our own? How will science help us build fully inclusive communities?

There is too little science fiction written that envisions a fully accessible, universally designed future. And so we are asking you, gentle readers, to do just that. We’re announcing the first contest to be sponsored by Redstone Science Fiction!

A science fiction writing contest. What a superb idea. Science fiction exists to prepare us for the future. What kind of future are we preparing for in terms of people with disabilities?

No commentary. These articles speak for themselves.


April 21, 2010

taxiAnd you thought it was hard to hail a cab if you’re African-American! (I know, bad, overgeneralized stereotype–perhaps not an inaccurate one— but there’s a point here, I promise).

It’s worse if you’re in a wheelchair since, even if one were to stop, 98% of them aren’t designed to accommodate wheelchairs anyway.

The New York Times reports on a report about wheelchair-accessible hired transportation. This includes cabs and also for-hire rides that you call to pick you up.

It turns out that most of the for-hire rides are subcontracted out. And while the for-hire companies are prohibited from charging riders more for using a wheelchair, the subcontractors are not prohibited from charging the livery company more.

The end result being that it is really, really hard to get a ride in New York if you have a disability. And the agency responsible for enforcing the pertinent rules/laws/policies hasn’t been doing so.

That’s not to say it’s all bad news. You can call 311 from anywhere in New York City and get an accessible taxi to come pick you up. The 311 service is exactly the sort of accommodation that I’m talking about when I get all soapboxy on society being accommodating toward people with disabilities. It’s something that is functional and practical for people without disabilities, too.

Design note after the jump.

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Selected references

April 12, 2010

This is not the full bibliography, however here are the references that I’ve found highly influential.

Selected References

(after the jump.)
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Conference poster

April 9, 2010

The types of play model didn’t quite make the cut in the paper I’m submitting. This poster, however, is essentially Table 1 of that paper and an outline of the structure of it.I’m uploading it here— “submitted for your approval” as Rod Serling would say.


2010 PSHA poster & Bowker (manuscript in preparation)

(Edited 11 April: converted to 150dpi PNG, now less than 8MB file size!)

References coming soon.

Types of Play

March 24, 2010

Lazzaro’s 4 Types of Fun corresponds well to the constructivists’ theories of development (Piaget; Bruner) as well as the literature on play development (Singer & Singer; Garvey; Fein). The Y-axis here owes a lot to cognitive psychologist Robbie Case.

Model for the types of play based on two factors: symbolism and goals

Braille Rubik’s Cube

March 17, 2010


texture cube

A sighted person would find this one easier.