One of the most valuable lessons we took away from this year’s Resonate conference was the importance of play. More than just a trend, play has shown to lead to some of the most innovative projects, and is something we look forward to implementing more of here at The Artificial.

Paula Scher on Serious Play

Paula Scher, one of the leading designers of our time, shares her take on the importance of play in design. She talks about the beauty of the unexpected, and how the balance of play and solemnity leads to great work. Watch her inspirational talk.

A New Direction for UX Design

There is pleasure in using tools, but also in playing. This article about the iPhone in 2009 may be even more cogent today given all of iOS 7’s quirks that irritate designers but please most users. Maybe usability should sometimes be secondary to fun.

Dumb Ways to Die

Dumb Ways to Die began as a public service announcement for train platform safety by Metro Trains in Melbourne Australia. By opting to relay their safety message through a clever mobile game, Metro Trains and Dumb Ways to Die has been able to gain international fame. Since the campaign began, Metro Trains has reported a 21 percent reduction in accidents and deaths. Watch the successful music video.

Co-Op Board Games

Board games cultivate competition, but shouldn’t they be cultivating cooperation? Game designers are delving into the challenge of having an “opponent” in table top games that doesn’t require AI or a designated antagonist. We’re looking forward to trying out the two we’ve got sitting on our shelf. See what they’ve come up with.

World Refugee Day Game

‘Who is who’ was created by our very own Jo in collaboration with the Dutch Refugee Council (VluchtelingenWerk Nederland) and Amnesty International Eindhoven for World Refugee day. It a fairly simple game designed to raise awareness through play. The game goals are to create an opportunity, time, and place, where 2 players can sit down and play, prompting them to think and talk about refugee issues. The design around this project centres on the positive aspects of refugees as individuals and human beings, and on the strength and other qualities they bring to their communities. Playing the game means sharing the inspiring stories of famous and everyday refugees, in the process dispelling myths and stereotypes. Download your own game.

Revving up Brain Skills: Nature

Do brain training games actually work? Most targeted at the younger generation have failed to deliver, but NeuroRacer seems to be successful for the older generation. Perhaps a new market segment for games is arising. See how it works.

Lose/Lose

Lose/lose is a classic-style arcade game where you kill the oncoming aliens. The catch is that in doing so, you’re randomly erasing files from your harddrive. Randomness aside, it sure beats dragging files to the trash! Play it here.

Tot Straks! (Until next time!)