Collective Play explored “how do the rules of interaction shape non-competitive play?” and “code and test design strategies for playful group interactions.” For our final project, Simon and I decided to create a game which forces the user to actively engage with common uncomfortable situations. The situations we were most interested in exploring are those we commonly experience when group-forming in professional, educational, and romantic settings: rejection and rejecting others. We were particularly interested in this when we realized that, for many people, even long-removed memories of rejection from our schoolyard days (not being chosen for sports teams, etc.
For this week’s analog interaction exercise, Simon and I decided to replicate a common and emotionally turbulent interaction from schoolyard play: that of waiting to be picked (or not) for teams. We noticed that, at least anecdotally, childhood memories of anticipation, relief and humiliation associated with this interaction remain strong for many people. Choosing teams, creating partnerships and forming relationships remains an important and emotional interaction into adulthood. Indeed, though the process is (hopefully) handled with more civility and tact in a graduate school or professional environment, the interaction remains difficult.