The book examines how the way we interact with computers and computer applications today has evolved. The exploration begins with the very first computers of the 1940s and extends from there to the touchless gesture control of the new millennium.
Conventional narratives of human-computer interaction (HCI) often depict the emergence of modern computer operation as a story of inventions. This book, however, shifts its focus to how these inventions came about in the first place and why these specific inventions were the ones that could prevail (unlike many other designs).
For this purpose, HCI is understood as a field of cultural practices. The emergence and proliferation of HCI forms are then read as a cultural history of these forms. Instead of a history of inventions, this perspective leads to a history of cultural forms of computer operation. This approach allows the role and significance of various culture-shaping influences to be examined. In this context, art, work, science, and play prove to be relevant: art as a field responsible, in general terms, for aesthetics, creativity, and socio-cultural introspection; work as a field in which HCI is practically employed; science as a supplier of theories and models as well as an engine of innovation; play as a realm that, through a play-as-if stance, enables freedom from (instrumentally efficient and creativity-restricting) norms.
It is demonstrated that all four of these elements are important for the emergence and proliferation of new forms of computer operation, but play holds a special role due to its intermediary and mediating nature.
HCI und Formengenese: Zur Geburt der modernen Computerbedienung aus Kunst, Arbeit, Wissenschaft und Spiel
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