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What is Mashboard Games?

Mashboard Games is a research project where we "affordance mine" the common computer keyboard for its play-enabling properties. Leveraging these properties we make videogame prototypes and toys where players rub, twinkle and mash the keyboard. These games may be awkwardly liberating to play because players have to deprogram themselves and renegotiate their relationship to the keyboard on more physically playful, body-friendly terms.

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What is
"affordance mining"?

I coined the term 'affordance mining' to describe:

the process of researching (usually hardware) technology, such as the keyboard, touchscreen, traffic lights, etc., to determine their underutilized actionable properties and developing methods of leveraging those properties into innovative forms of interaction between the actor and the technology. Affordance mining could also be considered a type of hacking. But rather than subverting a technology's designed intent by exploiting its weaknesses the emphasis is on discovering and inventing new interaction models with a technology.

The term "affordance" was popularized by Donald A. Norman, the author of The Design of Everyday Things:

The word "affordance" was originally invented by the perceptual psychologist J. J. Gibson (1977, 1979) to refer to the actionable properties between the world and an actor (a person or animal). To Gibson, affordances are a relationship. They are a part of nature: they do not have to be visible, known, or desirable. Some affordances are yet to be discovered. Some are dangerous. I suspect that none of us know all the affordances of even everyday objects.

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Folks behind Mashboard Games

Brian Schrank started the project and is game designer, artist and programmer.
Jeremy Rogers developed the base code and is programming consultant.

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