19 May 1998 ............... Length about 900 words (6,000 bytes).
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description for this joint seminar)
Fun, interestingness, humour, and play: what is the importance of these for HCI and for IR?
There will be a GIST
seminar at 4pm on Thur. 11 June in the conference room, 17 Lilybank Gardens
(how to get there)
on "Fun, interestingness, humour, and play: what is the importance of these
for HCI and for IR?"
Organisers: Chris Johnson, Steve Draper, Paddy O'Donnell
An under-investigated issue which nevertheless recurs as a subject of research
or anyway of papers, is that of fun. It is important in HCI as underpinning
the design of games. It also recurs in education as a possibly important mode
of promoting learning. It is certainly true that we cannot account for some
user behaviour with machines without allowing for fun.
Possibly related to the concept of "fun" are those of humour, play, and
interesting-ness. The latter is of crucial importance in information
retrieval. Although one use of the WWW (and newspapers, magazines, TV, ....)
is to satisfy specific information goals (e.g. find all the documents
mentioning HCI and fun), in reality probably about the same amount of user
time goes into undefined goals where the user reacts to things that look
interesting to them, but which they could not have told you they were looking
for until they saw them. The design of newspapers, magazines, and museums is
also largely about trying to satisfy this undefined goal of "being
This meeting will be a discussion about these topics in relation to HCI and
IR, in which participants will pool what they know that might be relevant. If
you definitely have a chunk (5 mins is the right size) you want to present,
let us know.
- Chris: what the issue of Fun in HCI is [5 mins. why this topic is
- SteveD: what the issue of interest in IR is. [5 mins. why this topic is
- Paddy: 2 min. summaries on the psychology literature on each of: fun,
interest, play, humour.
I would also have in reserve 2 min. chunks on:
- How to evaluate computer games
- The possible importance of play for students: why don't our courses make room
- Fun in education; theories of motivation, the "Dr. Fox" experiments.
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