Category Archives: Ch 2 Affordances of the Medium

Is cat poop the same kind of medium as videogames?

There has been a lot of twitter chatter this week about an endearing rant by Darius Kazemi with the arresting title of Fuck Videogames aimed at encouraging frustrated game designers to embrace other forms of creative expression.

Clearly this is a timely message, and probably a mark of the success that this active community of practice has  had in encouraging creative expression in videogames.

I don’t quarrel with Kazemi’s main point — and in fact I’ve often said that there is no hierarchy of media. No individual book, for example, is more valuable than any individual game (or film or TV show) just because it is expressed in lengthy text passages instead of interactive bits or moving images.   But Kazemi isn’t talking about books or films. He is talking gelato and cat poop — which I do indeed have a problem with.

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Design Exercise: Affordance Grid

For an area of interest – perhaps one that you are thinking of as the focus for a larger project — place at least 3 existing digital artifacts on the grid diagram according to their use of the digital affordances described in chapters 2 and 3 of ITM. What affordances or combinations of affordances have been under-exploited

For example, if skateboarding is your focus, you might put a Google map of local skateboard stores in the Spatial quadrant and a skateboarding blog and a skateboarding Twitter feed in the Participatory quadrant. You might then see missed opportunities, such as an encyclopedic archive of skateboard designs or an interactive model of a skateboard park or an augmented reality overlay of skateboarding tricks visible in a particular park. 

What do non-programming designers have to know?

There is a  continuing controversy over whether or not digital media designers  should know how to program.  As someone who learned to program a long time ago but does not actively program, I have taken the position that if everyone only designed what they could personally program we would have much lamer artifacts. For one thing we would not have anything designed by Steve Jobs who worked with the most skilled computer wizards but did not feel the need to code himself. Continue reading

Active Creation of Belief

Television producers are increasingly turning to interactive applications to encourage fans to become more immersed in a series’ storyworld through activities that provoke the active creation of belief.

HBO GO Game of Thrones Application

Active Creation of Belief is a  design term I first used in Hamlet on the Holodeck, to contrast with Coleridge’s classic term of “suspension of disbelief”  and to refute the notion that narrative pleasures are incompatible with interactivity.

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