Mark Blythe, Marc Hassenzahl, Peter Wright
Information and communication technology has become a pervasive part of our personal and private lives. In recent years the field of human-computer interaction (HCI) has greatly broadened its scope to reflect this shift. Practitioners and researchers are now as likely to be concerned with how enjoyable a new technology is as how usable and useful it might be. New directions in the field encompass not just what technologies can do but how users can creatively adapt them to their needs. Emotional responses to design are being explored as systematically and rigorously as ease of use or ease of learning were in the earliest days of the field. The subject of computers and fun has moved from the sidelines of research towards center stage. It is the beginning of "funology"the science of enjoyable technology. Fun and enjoyment are as important in the home and leisure context as productivity and efficiency in the work context. But the boundaries between work and play are increasingly being called into question and blurred. Many would now agree with Noel Coward, that work is much more fun than fun. This special issue of interactions brings together well-known HCI figures and also some members of the next generation of researchers working in this new field. For more information on much of the work here and also other contributions please refer to the book entitled Funology: From Usability to Enjoyment.
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