Thursday, August 18, 2005
The ESRC Seminar Series on Play and Digital Culture is to go ahead, so play's the thing - that's good news. Although homework reading for something like play seems like a contradiction in terms, I'm quite eager to get stuck in. Jesper Juul (aka The Ludologist) is interesting on the world of games, but there's a sense in which play is larger than the game itself.
Play gets interesting when it's subversive and breaks out of conventional ways of doing and seeing things. That was what Richard Neville realised when he wrote Playpower. For Neville play was subversive, play was political, and play was all to do with disrupting the status quo.
Interestingly, one of the most playful and innovative uses of writing predates silicon literacy. The work of Mallarme - particularly Un Coup de Des - did something with the printed word that hadn't been done before. Something that demonstrates what written signs can do. A reproduction of Un Coup de Des is here, or if you're more interested in Balinese Cockfighting it's all here and here!