Podcast Perusal: Journal #3

Alongside the topical research on play, I've also begun diving into my chosen mode to share this knowledge with the world: podcasts! Before this directed study began, my exposure to podcasts has been pretty embarrassingly low. I've been a big fan of the political Pod Save America recently, and I've listened to a good number of amazing longform interviews on The Tim Ferriss Show this past year, but other than that...Basically nothing. No Serial, no This American Life, no Adventure Zone...These are some of the big name podcasts that I know are increasingly popular in mainstream culture now. I've somehow never…

All the World is Play: Journal #2

It's been a while since I've officially posted an update here, but I've been hard at work. I suppose it's important to keep in mind that sharing progress updates is simply a part of the work itself though. Anyway, I'm releasing these journals in two parts this week to update two different tracks of research I've been doing. On the plate today: Books and more books! I've finished my prescribed reading list of four well-regarded books on play theory and research. I went pretty in-depth into my thoughts of the first one, Homo Ludens, last journal.…

February Thesis Presentation Slides

We needed to present an update on our thesis progress today. Fortunately I had a good amount to share, since the past two weeks I've been hard at work fleshing out the project timeline, meeting with the Engagement Lab Team, and going up to Portland last Friday. Here's a link to the presentation. There'll be plenty more details in the weeks to come, but this is the current state of the project. The next week and a half will be focused on two major tasks: 1.) Brainstorming game ideas to present to Eric and others…

Studying the Play: Journal #1

I'm officially one week into my Directed Study work plan, which means it's time for my first Journal exercise. The exact structure for these is undefined, but the general idea is to "serve as responses to readings/media, research updates, or other project-related work." I'm currently in phase one of my plan, which is to focus on researching play. All my prescribed books have made their way from Amazon to my living room floor and are ready for consumption. I decided to begin with probably the most influential work in the whole field, Homo Ludens by Johan…

Pods & Play: The Work Plan

Another exciting project I'll be working on this semester is - at last! -researching and developing the Seize the Play podcast! I'm taking this project on as a CMAP Directed Study for the semester. Our class meets weekly to share updates, give critiques, ...and basically act as a commitment device for staying on track. Part of my coursework will be to post regular 'journal entries' about the project. But this isn't one of those. I'm not there yet. First thing first has been to develop a well-thought out work plan that gives me structured assignments…

The Thesis Project: the Second Semester Begins

From the ashes of an instant ramen- and coffee grounds-filled heap, Seize the Play is reborn! I remember just four months ago (is that even possible!? 2017 felt like a full decade, good grief...), a naive and ambitious Justin intended to maintain a functioning game design blog on top of all my schoolwork and part time job - hah! Turns out things didn't quite pan out that way. Reality hit hard and I decided to table the idea for the time being. Personal blogs can wait, this degree can't. In fact, I've actually ended up stepping…

G.A.M.E Reports: Rules and Setup

Welcome back! The future of this blog is admittedly mostly a giant question mark to me, but there are a few things I know I'm excited to do. One project that I plan on regularly creating will be game design reports. I’ve had a blast making dozens of silly games and play-centric events over the years, and I've learned a lot about the process of crafting positive experiences for players/guests along the way. Game projects and party design have always been delightful challenges to me, especially when constraints like a specific audience, a tight budget,…

Let the Games Begin!

Welcome to Seize the Play! Let’s dive right in: welcome to my new project! In general, this blog will be a platform for me to chronicle my ongoing explorations into the concept of ‘play.’ I have several exciting projects brewing that I’m excited to share here soon, but first - every blog needs an intro, right? I’ve committed myself to actually creating and maintaining this for several reasons, which I’ll briefly describe below. So why blog? Why play? Who am I? Well... Reason #1: I’m going back to school, and I need practice. It’s been 3…