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Robin Hunicke on Using Play to Create Games

Moving from play to higher-order concepts

"In the program I've developed here, we focus initially on just the act of play. The feeling of joyfulness and expressive action that come from playing the games that we played as children. Even though students are just shy of childhood, it takes a little bit of pushing to remind them of what it felt like to be idle and to be able to make things up for the fun of it... I try to get them out of their comfort zone and out of the classroom, we go outside, we use a huge ball and hula hoops and ropes and frisbees and baseballs -- all kinds of equipment that are seemingly simple. And then over the course of the class, they make games that express unique themes with this basic equipment. They learn to move from the body and the expression of joyful movement into higher order concepts like thinking about loss, or maybe embodying the movement of a horse, or the concept of one.  These are the kinds of things that students do in my class."

Originally posted: 12/10/2015