Everyone plays. Kids and adults. Men and women. Uptight or relaxed. Tall or short, from any place on the Earth and with any skin colour. We play with our hair and our food. We play when we tease our friends and family about their weird habits. We play videogames and boardgames. We roleplay as practice for a big interview or new job, or just for fun. Play is a natural part of being human, and even if we don't realise it we all spend at least some of the time every day playing.
Ludiphilia is a highly-polished, thoroughly-edited collection of stories about how and why we play, with all episodes scripted and set to music and most based on original interviews.
June 29th, 2019 | 41 mins 5 secs
barbie, behind the scenes, brian volk-weiss, comedy, comedy dynamics, discontinued, gi joe, hello kitty, lego, marvel, netflix, pop culture, star trek, star wars, the toys that made us, toys, transformers, tv
I talk the business of toys and pop culture, and what goes into making a documentary series about their history, with The Toys That Made Us producer/director Brian Volk-Weiss. Brian has lots to say about the hidden world behind toys and popular culture, the critical quality of a successful toy, why failure is interesting, the way your past dreams and passions have a way of shaping your future, and more.
April 5th, 2019 | 27 mins 56 secs
history, playgrounds, singapore, teamlab, toys, travelogue
An experimental piece on a travel experience of mine last year. I went to Singapore for a week with my fiancée in July and was surprised to find lots of playful touches, despite — or maybe because of — the reputation it has for law and order. And I thought it'd be nice to put together a sort of part travelogue, part essay thing about it.
You can find an accompanying photo essay for this story at ludiphilia.net/singaporephotos.
February 2nd, 2019 | 10 mins 23 secs
architecture, blockworks, games, minecraft
I'm back! Well, partly. New episodes are on the way, and in the meantime I thought you might enjoy this excerpt from an interview I conducted a couple of years ago about professional Minecraft building (i.e., people getting paid to build elaborate maps and buildings). Most of what I discuss here with BlockWorks boss James Delaney (who at the time was an architecture student) didn't make the article, so I'm pleased to finally bring it out to the world.
August 11th, 2018 | 43 mins 27 secs
cartography, chris perkins, maps, playful mapping, playful mapping in the digital age
Geographer Chris Perkins, co-author of the book Playful Mapping in the Digital Age, shares his love of maps and helps me explore the deep connection between mapping and play.
January 10th, 2018 | 16 mins 52 secs
apps, chaim gingold, earth primer, education, games, play design, science, spore
In celebration of the release of a Mac version of the award-winning app Earth Primer — a science book for playful people — I thought it'd be nice to dig out the segment I did with its creator, Chaim Gingold, back in episode 1, and clean it up for re-release.
December 21st, 2017 | 39 mins 1 sec
aussies, brianza, consonno, darwin beer can regatta, hide and seek, hiding, italy, ludiphilia, milan, nascondingo, nascondino, nascondino world championship, play, seeker
On the Nascondino World Championship, a yearly hide and seek tournament that attracts teams from all around the globe. I talked to Alan Jones, the co-captain of the Australian team, the Nascondingos, and Giorgio Moratti, one of the organisers of the competition, about how it works, what it's like, why it exists, and where it's headed next.
July 17th, 2017 | 39 mins 44 secs
art, brian thomas, if monks had macs, interview, multimedia, photography, play
Life after If Monks Had Macs aka What Brian Thomas did next; ruminations on photography and the politics of art and play. (Based on an interview conducted in early January 2017.)
April 14th, 2017 | 35 mins 45 secs
brian thomas, if monks had macs, mac, multimedia
It all started with a Macintosh ad: 'You too can be a knowledge worker.' This is the story of Brian Thomas' 15-year odyssey at the helm of one of the strangest pieces of multimedia software ever created — If Monks Had Macs.
March 21st, 2017 | 3 mins 8 secs
I know I said I'd have a new episode out in February, and now we're in the second half of March. There's a reason for that. Here's a quick rundown of what's been happening behind the scenes (spoiler: it's mostly down to Apple being difficult).
January 25th, 2017 | 18 mins 54 secs
On the eve of the Industrial Revolution and the morn of the English Civil War, one man reinvented educational thought.
August 10th, 2016 | 35 mins 54 secs
When Alex Boz dug his Commodore 64 out of storage, he was transported instantly back to his childhood, and that set him on the path to rediscover a lost passion and find a community he could call home.
May 28th, 2016 | 33 mins 27 secs
How brothers Rand and Robyn Miller built worlds from a manhole.
April 13th, 2016 | 14 mins 23 secs
SimCity is a wonderful simulation of the urban machinery around us, and a playground for messing with our cities. But it turns out the original game, at least, doesn't actually work the way it seems.
March 3rd, 2016 | 24 mins 10 secs
On Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa and the playful freedom of creating as someone else — someone distinct, and unique, but non-existent.
February 2nd, 2016 | 27 mins 55 secs
Sometimes play gives us a little helping hand
December 24th, 2015 | 38 mins 11 secs
(Now with fixed audio levels) Mercy - A devoted wrestling fan hacks and modifies an old Nintendo 64 game called WWF No Mercy to help deal with the pain of his shattered dream, and gets more out of it than he'd bargained for.