Introducing the Psycho-Ludic Approach: Exploring play for a viable future!

Margarete Jahrmann, Stefan Glasauer

The current global crises demonstrate that human strategies based on exploitation have come to an end. These strategies, now leading to failure, are reflected in games and their mechanics: it's all about winning, accruing possessions, conquering new worlds.
Stage 9

We care how we play — to test and change this we use methods of artistic research, experimental psychology, and neuroscience in a combination that we term the PSYCHO-LUDIC APPROACH. In play experiments we investigate alternative motivations for game-playing, how we can learn from these about possible future forms of society, and whether, by using new game mechanisms in experimental, playful contexts we may unlock better means of mediating reflection, thoughts, and action, creating a powerful, transdisciplinary basis for ecologically respectful ways of living.

We propose that intrinsic forms of motivation, such as curiosity, creative work, participation, and emotional flow could replace profit-oriented game mechanics, enhance emphatic bonding, and foster a positive exchange with the environment. We will develop a scenario of future play that can break up established structures and suggest alternative games that point beyond the purpose of play: Signposts to possibilities of new forms of society, politics, and coexistence.