the city is already a playground

the city is already a playground

The city is already a playground. Creative projects to turn urban spaces into playful installations or events are often predicated on the implicit assumption that the city is not already playful. That urban centres are cold, alienated places just waiting for artists, architects, designers and cultural producers to bring their creativity and imagination to bring […] more…
robots for everyone

robots for everyone

As I’m working on a cluster of ideas about robots, AI, automata and animals, here is an entry on Robot that I wrote for The International Encyclopedia of Communication Theory and Philosophy (2015). The word “robot” was coined by the Czech playwright Karel Čapek in 1921, in his play R.U.R. He took his inspiration for it from […] more…

the office as medium (rough draft)

Admin and academic offices, Faculty of Creative Industries, Universiti Turku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia more…
Phantasmagoria & technicity

Phantasmagoria & technicity

Resources and links for my talk at the Cologne Games Lab 5th December 2018. I’ll work this up into a full post with the slides soon: bad play and phantasmagoria (extract from Gameworlds: virtual media and children’s everyday play) Bright bricks dark play draft: on the impossibility of studying LEGO (from Mark J.P. Wolf (ed.) LEGO […] more…
paracosmic

paracosmic

excerpt from Gameworlds (pp.6-8) on Cohen and MacKeith’s ‘paracosms’ and imaginative play: Such worlds open up as virtual environments for  play  beyond  the  page, along with television, comic and film stories and characters, as resources for play in the playground, the park or the bedroom. They are to be lived in and played out beyond the […] more…
unbreakable pocket cinema

unbreakable pocket cinema

Stip Vuwers, Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, University of Exeter more…
hand-held cinema

hand-held cinema

The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum has uploaded my report on this archive research: Handheld cinema, or the other successful toys that move. more…
domestic media archaeology

domestic media archaeology

Clearing out a small room in our house that has been used over the years as a baby’s bedroom, an office, a spare room and a storage space. Amongst the accumulated objects, clothes, CDs, books, videogames, pictures, etc. that was a large box stuffed with electrical leads and computer cables. Rummaging through for power leads […] more…
toy theory

toy theory

Book proposal: Toy Theory: the material and the imaginary in postdigital play. Watch this space. more…
toying with the archive

toying with the archive

I’ve just been awarded a research stipend by the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum at the University of Exeter. Here’s the rationale: My interest in the Bill Douglas collection centres on two categories: Toys in general, and Optical Toys. A particular concern is toys as media objects, both as communication media in their own right and […] more…
media archaeology of / through toys

media archaeology of / through toys

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moments of voluptuous release

moments of voluptuous release

[In early critical texts (mid to late 1980s) on the cultural economy of computer games] Fiske & Watts and Bernstein make reference to Roland Barthes’ 1950s account of Japanese players of pachinko. For Barthes, pachinko – a mechanical arcade game, somewhere between pinball, bagatelle and the fruit machine – and its players are at once […] more…
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