For the last year or so, I’ve sporadically wondered about whether there would be any benefit to be gained by conducting a CBT-ish (structured? informed?) conversation with a non-human agent. CBT is highly structured and its activities frequently serve as therapy homework, i.e. you can do them on your own.
Talking to an agent obviously wouldn’t have the same effect as talking to a human therapist, on the other hand, what would the effect be?
What if we could make complex social and cultural questions playable? And what if we could do so through interactions with familiar digital interfaces set in alternative presents and near futures?
These questions constitute the backbone of the project, Speculative Play (funded by the Quebec FRQSC), which seeks to explore the intersection between the discursive design traditions of Speculative and Critical Design on the one hand, and the pragmatic philosophies and best practices of interaction design and playful media (PM) on the other.