Objects of Play, is a new doctoral research project by William Owen. This project investigates how we interact and relate to digital objects through gameplay, with a focus on new and emergent game technologies.
Objects have always held a key role in the ways we play, but as games move away from the real world and into the virtual the ways we interact and connect with objects through play changes. Studies in HCI, while not game focused, have found people have more difficulty cherishing digital objects such as emails or digital photographs than they do physical objects. This may suggest that the same holds true for our relationships with objects in video games. Traditionally in video games we have been limited to interacting with objects through a mouse and keyboard or a gamepad, and by observing and interpreting them through a computer or TV screen. However, in recent years a significant number of emerging technologies have created new possibilities for playfully interacting with objects.
By exploring and mapping these possible interactions, Objects of Play will seek to understand what human interactions with virtual objects are useful in better understanding game mechanics, how we can develop new game mechanics using emerging game technology for playfully interacting with objects; and how might we apply these techniques to the field of game design.
Photo Credits: flickr.com/photos/sergesegal/; flickr.com/photos/cfaobam/