This essay elaborates on historic and contemporary case studies of experimental game mechanics applied within the field of arts, that can be consequently identified as viable methods of research in the field of social interaction. Humanities and arts draw insights on experiments based on game mechanics. Practices of role-play starting with the beginning of experiments in modern physics will be analysed herein and compared to contemporary arts and games practices.
Strategies of artistic avant-grades lead to contemporary models of networked forms of playful research practice considering installations as experimental systems in order to generate artistic artefacts as epistemic objects.
This inquiry draws on ideas of a participative research method applied in the study of playfulness as introduced in anthropologies and ethnologies. The concepts of a Ludic Society (Constant 1958 and The Ludic Society 2006 – 2016) serve as evidence for this form of participatory research in the arts, about game mechanics and social games, about the systemic power of academic writing and the necessity of membership in arts and research associations, that enables one to publish peer-reviewed writings. As a critical playful society is central to developing creative research, these examples not only provide conclusions on research methods and arts strategies, but also on possibilities of interventions to the society as a whole.
The essay’s aim is to provide a theoretical framework for the analysis of play as process in arts-based research experiments. Secondly, it questions the power of canonical writing versus poetic and automatic writing as tools of inquiry in arts and design research.