Playing With Play Moods in Movement-based Design


  • Rasmus Andersen Syddansk Universitet
  • Lars Elbaek



Play moods, co-design, movement-based design, design methods, game design, embodied interaction


New design approaches focus on the lived body’s capacity for sensing, feeling, and creating (Loke & Robertson, 2011) are emerging in sport, health, game, play, and innovation. These approaches' engagement in physical movement and movement-based learning becomes focal for designing new practices, artifacts, and interaction designs for movement and movement-based learning games. In movement-based design, a playful mindset is a medium for creating movement, which unifies with the understanding of playfulness as a facilitator of creativity (Bateson & Martin 2013). Aspects of play are also recognised to lower performance anxiety, spurring creativity and conceptualising ideas (Segura et al., 2016). The paper takes a starting point in the triad of play (Skovbjerg, 2013) to state that play is more than an instrument for stimulating design insights but a meaningful practice of moods. Operationalising the triad of play, this paper aims to analyse how different play practices and play moods unfold in two movement-based design workshops. Further to discuss how this perspective of play practice and mood can provide recommendations for movement-based design. With a constructive research design approach, two movement-based design workshops are our cases of data generation. We generated data using video observation, interviews, and observation notes. We found different play media, practices, and moods by an analysis of the participants' actions and interactions. The analysis points out that the participant engages physical and playful in the play moods euphoria and devotion conducive to generation, exploration, and meaningfulness. The paper recommends taking the perspective of play moods as an intrinsic motivating value in play to engage the participant in a playful mood conducive to spontaneity, exploration, and generation. The paper also encourages designers to reflect on the play concepts of ludic (Rule-based activities) and paideia (spontaneously and free activities) when designing through movement-based design.