I was shopping in town yesterday and found something very interesting in the lift in Ted Baker in Manchester (I don’t usually use the lift but having a buggy opens up a whole new range of experiences). Along with the usual floor-related buttons, one wall was covered with around fifty additional identical red buttons, lined up neatly in rows, along with the tempting sign ‘Go on press them, you know you want to.’ Of course I did.
I only got the chance to sample a small selection of the buttons in the short trip down and up again, but each contained a different sound, be it laughter, soundbite, music, drumming, and so on. Part mystery and part silliness, and certainly cheered up a Sunday morning shopping expedition. It reminded me that, for me anyway, playfulness is an important part of games, and one that tends to get lost in the whole ‘serious games’ mantra. We need more of these random playful spaces; bring on ‘frivolous games’ I say.