"The word magical is much used when praising a broad range of creative works including fine art, film, fashion, architecture, TV and digital games.
Bruce Tognazzini has argued that knowledge of “the principles, techniques and ethics of magic” are invaluable in software design, suggesting that software designers should study the literature of illusion design, the performances of master magicians and also practice the techniques of conjuring in order to improve their design process.
In August 2006 at The Telecommunications Software and Multimedia Laboratory (TML) in Helsinki, a group of software designers, game designers and media producers explored this advice through a week-long workshop led by Stuart Nolan.
This workshop explored how the practice of conjuring can play a part in the creative technology design process and examined the relationships between: magic, interactive storytelling, game design and user centred design; calm technology, misdirection and the psychology of attention; Disney’s weenies, game world design, and stage illusions; optical conjuring, visualization technologies, and vanishing an elephant; off-beats, video editing and the psychology of rhythm; character animation, natural movement and guilt; affordances, inner scripts, and anthropomorphism; psychological suggestion, equivoque and interface design; play, the illusion of choice and multiple outs; pacing, time misdirection and communication technologies; futurology, disruptive innovation and the technomagical.
Issues of software design, HCI, disruptive innovation, play, video editing and manipulation, animation and game design were explored, key conjuring skills and effects demonstrated and case studies presented.
This presentation will discuss key learning from this, and other shorter workshops with technologists, media producers and game designers." By Stuart Nolan