Notables in the overlapping area of interaction and game design

With the Euro IA Sum­mit soon approach­ing and my pre­sen­ta­tion more or less done, I think it might be a good time to post a list of peo­ple I’ve found inspir­ing while work­ing on it. These are all per­sons who one way or the oth­er are work­ing in the over­lap­ping area of inter­ac­tion and game design (at least as far as I’m concerned.)

Katie Salen and Eric Zim­mer­man are the authors of the excel­lent book Rules of Play. This is arguably the foun­da­tion­al text on game design the­o­ry. It is so good even that much of it is read­i­ly applic­a­ble to the broad­er domain of inter­ac­tive media. 

Daniel Cook has writ­ten some thought-pro­vok­ing pieces on his blog regard­ing the appli­ca­tion of game design to inter­ac­tion design. I admire the way he com­bines an ana­lyt­i­cal mind with con­sid­er­able skill in visu­al arts, allow­ing him to com­mu­ni­cate his ideas in a very engag­ing way.

Raph Koster is the author of A The­o­ry of Fun for Game Design, a book I have yet to read. He’s the design­er of the ear­ly MMOG Ulti­ma Online and has since gone on to found his own com­pa­ny that is appar­ent­ly focussed on deliv­er­ing games every­where. He’s recent­ly pre­sent­ed some worth­while talks on the area where the games and inter­net indus­try meet.

There are more, but I’d just like to high­light these three because they’ve all pro­vid­ed their own frame­work for think­ing about games in such a way that it can be under­stood and used by rel­a­tive out­siders like me. Take a look at their work, and let me know what you think.

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Kars Alfrink

Kars is a designer, researcher and educator focused on emerging technologies, social progress and the built environment.