Chicago & Leiden: Reflections on playing for better worlds

Chicago & Leiden: Reflections on playing for better worlds

As many websites are developed as interactive entertainment, I can use many sources for ideas. Taking notes and commenting is just a small fraction of getting better concepts.


Johan Huizinga and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi are both researchers, however with decades of ideation in between, and each has developed very different ideas, how games, play, and interactivity are integrated into a society with a diminishing time for leisure and creative skills.


At the University Leiden, Johan Huizinga has developed as professor his sociological theories about the human play and human creativity as a possibility for a better wording.


His scientific views about the human interest in games as intermediate for playing and capacities for brilliance are popular, but today with too many misconceptions and prejudiced views.  Johan Huizinga, however, is still one of the most cited researchers, when games and play are discussed in popular science studies. His articles and reviews are detailed explanations of how humans are using playing as a source of knowledge and skills.


Mihalyi Cskeszintmihalyi is known for a scientific approach, build on factors, explaining joy for preferences, individuality, and abilities. He was a scientific assistant at the University of Chicago when he published the first articles about the notion of "flow".


Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says, that creativity is a central source for meaning. As a prominent researcher in positive psychology, he is focusing his studies on what makes people happy, when they are desiring achievement, extremes, and succeeding. His best explanations are centering his insights around the observation, that the creative moment is only then present when people are completely involved in an activity.


In both theoretical views are skills and intelligence most important arguments for playing and both concepts differ in their evaluation of facts and ideas of how playing in societies is emerging. Games and interactivity are structured rational and efficient, as well as intelligent and joyful.


Playing is just a possibility to go beyond your horizon and experiencing newness and ideas as engaging. Playing is necessary for rational thinking to be filled with words of imagination and ideals. Fitting global trends and explore your environment is almost always in need for better wording and ideation. Self-efficacy, for example, is a theoretical concept and able to meet the criteria of both theories. This intelligent state is at the same time rational and emotional, that people can act and comprehend ideas and other meaning in just creative manners. When games have a set of features, then such a self-effectuation is most probably a good alternative.


Playing is a way to be independent of actual conditions.


Johan Huizinga argues that play is an intrinsic part of our culture. Rules, objectives, feedback, control, and involvement are the main factors for the players. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has demonstrated that skills and challenges should be balanced, otherwise the players experience negative feelings. Both researchers are considering creativity as interdependent within the creative domain.


Creativity is then powerful, when the notion becomes an ability.


Games are just one way to deal with issues. Messages in games are perceived more comprehensively than messages that are only read. As part of a culture with meanings pending in discourse, the video game culture has developed successful, because own icons and dialects have emerged. These happenings are often citing both researchers as a source for basic interactive ideas and narrative structures. Because of the fact that very much is done to hype video games as a culture, own linguistic milieus are used to strengthen these developments.


Today, however, more concepts need to be provided so that much more players can play outside a family.


Games culture is a critical site where discourses around technology, technological innovation, and product competence converge with basic conceptions of ideas and ideals. Video games have not always been the hype of the media. Video games did not become a mainstream existence until the mid-1990s. This was primarily the result of campaigns from Nintendo, Sega, Sony, and Microsoft, which made a big spectacle to marketing these home consoles.


Video Games require players to read and make meaning of symbols presented on the screens. In context with visionary ideas, gaming is constructed as play rather than writing. Playing is a state in which we learn how to flow seamlessly between the virtual and the actual. Games are then in need of skills and resources everywhere available.


Games are then interactive narratives with a high focus on interactional humor and entertainment.

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