Exercise Six: Deconstruct a Toy — What is Fun?

Part One (Before Class):

Please bring, beg, borrow or steal (OK, don’t steal) one or more toy from home or elsewhere to class next week. Our definition of a toy is as yet undetermined, so feel free to challenge our preconceived notions. The only restriction is that the toy not be something that you already have in your bag (i.e. not your cell phone).

Exercise Six, Part One is due at 15:30 on Friday, February 11.

Part Two (During Class):

Exchange toys with your collegues, and play with as many as you can. Rigorously observe at least one person playing with your toy. As noted in my Ethnography presentation:

  • Take detailed descriptive notes of what you observe.
  • Where possible, capture your partner’s views of their experience in their own words.
  • Clearly separate description from interpretation.
  • Include in your notes your own thoughts, feelings and related experiences — these are also field data.

Analyse your field observations by distilling them into a series of answers to today’s fundamental question: “What is Fun?” Record these answers on the sticky notes provided. Collectively we will use these sticky notes to interpret the structure of fun.

Exercise Six, Part Two is due in class on Friday, February 12.

PART 3 (After Class):

Post an image of your toy to the blog. Post the transcript of your field observations, edited for grammar and clarity but not content. I will post an image of our collective interpretation to the blog.

Exercise Six, Part Two is due at 15:30 on Monday, February 14.