Craft, creativity, computer games: The fusion of play and material consciousness

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


In a historical perspective, what is novel about computer games is that they are not pure games but cultural objects which allow the playful desires identified by Caillois to be fused with craftsmanship, the desire to do a job well for its own sake (Sennett). Play is often defined in opposition to work, for example by Huizinga and Caillois, but craftsmanship has two qualities which can be found in both. Firstly, craftsmanship entails creative attention to the material at hand pleasurably and patiently built up through rehearsal (cf. Sennett on "material consciousness") - "creative" is used in a sense read from Bergson which is almost synonymous with "possibility- widening". Secondly, craftsmanship entails the satisfaction of seeing the end result of one's labours. Both qualities are essential to human well-being (Marx, Sennett, Smith).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-282
Number of pages10
JournalPhilosophy and Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013


  • Bergson
  • Caillois
  • Computer games
  • Craftsmanship
  • Creativity
  • Csikszentmihalyi
  • Games
  • Huizinga
  • Labour
  • Marx
  • Material consciousness
  • Play
  • Sennett
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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