IxDA North-East

On October 5th, we were delighted to present at IxDA-North-East, a local group of The Interaction Design Association (IxDA), an organisation “improving the human condition by advancing the discipline of Interaction Design, through community, sharing, self-organisation and contribution to the practice and development of Interaction Design”.

The talk was an opportunity to describe our interests in human-computer interaction, social computing and cutting-edge interaction design. Enrique Encinas led this whistle stop tour covering everything from adversarial interaction design, alcohol & HCI, design fiction, post-capitalist computing to the Dog Internet, and his own PhD interest in the region of the design spectrum where fiction is present. His descriptions even included mention of “empirical investigations” into a dream simultaneously experienced by thousands of people in the project The Solution Printer, a magic realist design fiction.

I described my own passion for computer games and how they can have beneficial societal impact, illustrated through some of my favourite games that continue to motivate and inspire our group. This included the provocative Blowtooth (Linehan et al.), a computer game which brings gameplay to the unlikely setting of an airport. This was introduced with passing reference to the film – The Terminal with Tom Hanks which explores the non-space of an airport, and we reflected on how Blowtooth’s creators were able to draw upon the unique and challenging features of this interesting real-world space. Blowtooth not only challenges the way we think about game design, but the players of the game also benefited. They discovered new features of the airport which had previously gone unnoticed, while feeling more relaxed in a place that is associated with everything but being at ease.

We enjoyed our evening at IxDA-North-East and will look forward to their upcoming events.