• 1:44 pm, 17th November 2005
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Ben Cerveny

I met Ben Cerveny today at a impromptu talk he hosted while at the BBC. Ben spoke in high-level terms about play, interaction, navigation and such, drawing on his wealth of knowledge in the area through the development of The Game Neverending, Flickr and the Amsterdam playground project. I especially enjoyed what he said about how play provides the basis for interaction and how we should understand this as interaction designers.

In interaction and navigation, designers have difficulty persuading users to spend time and energy learning new mechanisms required to use new technologies. However gamers are able to learn and interact with very complex visualisations – can this be exploited for other navigation and interaction? I’m not sure if I subscribe to the point of view which suggests navigating around television and radio programmes could use complex features of game interaction, gaming is very much a ‘sit forward’ activity while watching tv is a ‘sit back’, relax-and-have-a-can-of-fosters activity. Besides, the complex world which gamers roam around is more often than not a very natural environment. Gamers merely treat the world as they would the real one, albeit controlled by D-pad.

Flickr poses an interesting problem. There is a resource which is so very rich, how can we get the most out of it? At the moment search is seen as the most viable solution but can we handle complex interaction which might allow us to roam around the photos, giving us more freedom and perhaps easier access to what we want to see?

I am interested in being able to find content through innovative means. But for now City 17 beacons…

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