Hello readers! This is a thread is about what rad books / blog posts / papers you’re reading (or recently read) and what they’re all about!
My thesis argues that it is productive to consider playthings, playmates, playgrounds, and play practices as constituting a set with shared design characteristics. SimCity, a software plaything that confounds game-centric approaches (e.g. game studies and game design), is the keystone in an arch of case studies that takes us from some of the earliest examples of computer simulation all the way to model cities enacted with children, cardboard, and costumes, and unusual playgrounds made of junk.
It was an eye-opening read about play, something which seemed intuitive to me, but that I’d never really thought deeply about (for example, not all play is positive, e.g., when you’re the target of a prank). Chaim also introduces a novel way for exploring / diagramming software in his case study of Sim City, and I’d love to see more breakdowns like this for other bits of software study.