Play is a core human function. Play is the way we become self-conscious; playing with fingers and toes, with cause and effect. Play is the first way we learn. Play is the way we place ourselves in society through playground games. Play is, without fail, the way we generate new knowledge. It seems ironic then that contemporary society attempts to control how, where, when and why we play. Different groups have different access and rights to play. Some types of play are sanctioned, whilst others are sanitized, and yet more excluded from the time-poor context of modern life.
Modern digital games are a significant cultural force, increasingly seen as the current generation’s medium-of-choice and rapidly gaining acceptance as a powerful contemporary aesthetic form. Growing from the entertainment sector, games increasingly move beyond a leisure activity to wider application as a tool for education, research, activism and innovation.