OzCHI ’12 – Workshop: Play in Unconventional Spaces
Melbourne, Australia, November 26th, 2012.

(Call for Participation can be found here)

Playful activities generally occur in defined play spaces. In particular, digital play has traditionally been confined to arcades and living rooms. The advent of recent technologies such as mobile devices allows us to play anywhere. However, the spaces in which we play inform the play experience, yet the relationship between play, technology and unconventional play spaces have received little attention so far. Spaces that afford playfulness are seemingly expanding along with our understanding of play in our culture. As a result, designers are required to rethink where, when and with whom we play when designing playful interactions and experiences. We are proposing a workshop to bring researchers and industry participants together to discuss how to design playful interactions for these expanding unconventional play spaces. The workshop will aim to support the development and understanding of future research, work and collaboration in designing playful interactions for unconventional play spaces.


• To provide a space for an exchange of ideas about play, games, and designing interactions that revolve around unconventional play spaces
• To gain a broad understanding of the issues and potential challenges faced when considering unconventional play spaces as a design space
• To raise awareness and appreciation of digital games and playful interactions in unconventional play spaces
• The role and significance of space in regards to play in our culture and society
• How to design playful interactions that do not intrude non-players’ spaces, and if they do, how to use it as a design opportunity
• How to design playful interactions that incorporate, invite or engage non-players


Kilby, J. The uncertainty principle: exploring ambiguity as a design philosophy for creating immersion in playful urban experiences, 2012.
de Byl, P., Hooper, J. Discouraging Digital Doodling with Play in Large Lecture Spaces, 2012.
Tobiasson, H. Designing Opportunities for Fun, Playful and Physical Movements at Office Work, 2012.
Fitz-Walter, Z., Tjondronegoro, D., Wyeth, P. Encouraging Learners to Drive Using Game Elements and Smartphones, 2012.


Cagdas ‘Chad’ Toprak, Exertion Games Lab, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia – chad@exertiongameslab.org
Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller, Exertion Games Lab, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia – floyd@exertiongameslab.org