Saturday, February 03, 2007

Ludic spray

Jez's maze
What a strange-sounding coinage! It sounds a bit kinky, but actually its not... Originating in this interview, ludic spray is defined as ‘the stuff that is inspired by a formal game but doesn't adhere to its rules.’ We could include fanfiction, the emergent economies that grow up around online games and so on. So, when Aleks Krotoski talks about ludic spray in relation to this Ofcom consultation report it begins to make sense. She says that ‘the new media revolution has highlighted that everyone plays. We surf, we tweak, we mash up, we blog. It's how we grapple with new concepts, new ideas and new experiences. Play is an essential part of how we make sense of our universe.’ I’ve been turning those words over in my mind – it’s a popular Western liberal ideology (I even wrote my undergraduate dissertation on that topic all those years back!). Play power sounds like a universal, but is it? I’m not convinced about that. Anyway it’s certainly true about new media – a world in which the boundaries between play and work are often hard to define. And I guess most of my own interests are about tracing that ludic spray into learning in informal and formal educational settings (bring on the virtual world).

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