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At the Conference on the Philosophy of the Internet of Things, we conducted a world café, during which each of us was entitled to pursue a question of our liking. Mine pertained to a slight unease I have felt every time I work with ontologies: something feels stale about them, rigid, not fit to the fluidity of our perceptions, the fluidity of our thinking about the world. Ontologies feel like granite boulders, left behind after the last ice age.
In the discussion following Angela Guimaraes Perira’s and Alice Benessia’s video contribution Agency and the Internet of Things, it suddenly struck me that the reason for why ontologies do not feel organic to me is that the ontological perspective is not what I employed when coming into the world. My first explorations of the world centred around play, and I am of course not the only one. A central part of being human is to explore the world through play during childhood, but even later, during adulthood. Just think of how popular adult game shows are, cosplay, old-fashioned board games, football games, and so on. Also, one can think of a row of inquisitive activities as games: creating art, making jokes, flirting, etc.
Although play is our major avenue into the world, it is anything but certain that one can translate play into a regularised epistemic mode of inquiry. After all, game is about transgressing borders, about the anarchy of “right now.” But just thinking about this question is already fun! This is why I invited all conference participants in engaging this question together with me, and I hereby extend this invitation to everyone “out there” who is equally intrigued by this question.
To give you something to start with I gathered all the sheets used during the world café and I also summarised them as a mind map and a UML class diagram. All of them are posted under the heading “ludology” on the conference homepage. I include the UML class diagram as a teaser below.
 As already stated, I am looking for people who are likewise interested in answering the question of whether a play-based alternative to an ontology-based epistemology is possible. In case the answer is “yes,” the next step would of course be to flesh out, how “ludologies” could be constructed.

In case you are interested let me know before mid August (just leave a comment below our contact me @myislandletters).

I envisage to loosely spend the remainder of this year on this question. Most of the work would be done through solitary thinking, web meetings, and perhaps one or two F2F meetings (depending of course on the geographic spread of the participants).

In case we produce something tangible I do not formerly have an academic publication in mind, rather something wiki style. But in case this work turns out to be of academic weight I will be easily convinced to convert it into a paper or the like as a next step.

In case you know somebody who could be interested please direct them to this page.

Let’s play together!

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