Back to Trust in Play Homepage

Upcycling Metaphors

Hola, mi nombre es Diego, im Mexican and I’m currently living in Malmö (Sweden), but in a couple of months I’ll be back to Coimbra (Portugal) where I’m doing my PhD in Contemporary Studies, looking at play as an invitation to upcycling heritage, that meaning to play with the material richness that lays around ourselves by building and testing new conditions of existence.

I am a play enthusiast, a game designer-researcher and a little of an archeologists. My research project frame games as an evidence of material culture that reflect local values and also as evolutionary platforms that enable socio-technical innovations by setting safe zones where players are more keen for adventure and prone to collaborate, to learn by doing and to explore the universe beyond their confort zone.

Soon, I will be running some interviews regarding play in work scenarios: I want to explore the impact and the extension of play dynamics and game mechanics within professional game design environments, such as the motivations and activities that happen internally. So if there are game designers or any other professional working with games independently, in academia, in the private or at the public sector, I would be really happy to talk to you (particularly in the last two, as most of my contacts are within the first ones).

Anyways, you can look at some of my work in here:

Looking forward to hearing back from you, Meanwhile, its been really nice to get to know you (such a nice and inspiring introductions in here…)



Hola Diego, nice to meet you!

I’m sure you will find a lot of game designers, creatives and game and play scholars here, your research seems very interesting, have you published something that we can read about it?

Hola Diego & welcome to the TiP community,

what a fascinating journey and really interesting projects you have (yes I do want to hear more about the little of an archeologist part). I would love to help with your research if I can, so let me know how when you are ready.

In English, you can read about my previous work here: View of Playful Interactions to Train Industrial Designers: Four Study Cases

and here: (page 222),

Both looking into different academic design experiences in Mexico City.

Regarding my latest PhD research, the first article is about to be published on the coming weeks, it will be in Spanish.

So… En caso de que leas en español, te lo puedo compartir en cuanto salga y mientras tanto, puedes echarle un ojo a estos dos artículos, el más reciente es la reseña y mis reflexiones entorno al capítulo de un libro: Actitudes y aptitudes que dieron origen al capitalismo - RDU UNAM

y el segundo un capítulo que yo mismo escribí hace ya un par de años: innovacion+social+y+diseño.pdf - Google 雲端硬碟 (página 154).

Would love to hear what you think about these :wink:

1 Like

Soo, as the approach of my PhD is set up from an interdisciplinary perspective, I complement my view on games from design and education with an historical approach that looks into the artifacts as evidences of material culture.

If you are interested in the topic, I really suggest you to take a look at this book:

After I read it, I began to think on games from an evolutionary perspective that allows to draw lineages of games (for example understanding how UNO or Rummi come from playing with a traditional deck of poker cards). What I think is archeological of this approach is that by studying forgotten games we can reflect on the reasons why they ceased to be played.

In other words, the contexts in which they were conceived, produced, distributed and bought had to change so that these games are not relevant anymore, and this change brings sociological, geographical and political considerations into the picture.

At the same time and depending on the conservation of these, they may have nice pieces that can be used to design new games, so for the last years I’ve been lurking into second hand stores trying to find old games and new ways to bring them to life by reinterpreting their rules and using them to build new games.

1 Like

Diego, maybe this could be interesting for you, last summer I spent a lot of time at the Metropolitan Museum of Art here in NYC and I mapped all the games and game related artifacts that they have there, it’s a lot, more than 200, enough for a full day of exploration.

There is also a section with games that we don’t know exactly how they were played that can be interesting for contemporary game designers, similar to what you’re mentioning at the end of your comment. I called it Game Design Challenges -.-’

1 Like

Thank you very much for sharing your project! It looks amazing!! Reminds me of Jumanji :slight_smile: How to play a game that we do not know the rules, but can discover while playing it? Congratulations!!