Interaction Design: Playful Interaction


Admission requirements

At least 45 credits in the main field of Interaction Design.


Syllabus for students spring 2021, spring 2020, spring 2019

Course Code:
KD410B revision 2
Level of specialisation
Main fields of study:
Interaction Design
Date of ratification:
20 November 2018
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Culture and Society
Enforcement date:
21 January 2019
Replaces Syllabus ratified:
28 November 2016

Entry requirements

At least 45 credits in the main field of Interaction Design.

Specialisation and progression relative to the degree regulations

The course can normally be included as part of a general degree at undergraduate level.


Play is a profoundly meaningful activity and interaction design as a subject is influenced by this powerful form of expression. This is a basic course in designing for playful behaviour, and we will discuss the differences and similarities between different types of ludic interaction.


The course includes concepts of game design as well as the practical creation of prototypes that demonstrate playful interaction. In the course, the student practices transferring knowledge from the development of game concepts to other areas of interaction design. The course is divided into the following sections:
1. Analysis of playful artifacts—such as games and toys—in which the student relates canonical examples to basic design texts and research literature (3 HP).
2. Modification of an existing board game through which the student creates a new play prototype and thus deepens their understanding of how play is structured. (2 HP).
3. In the final step students design a working prototype that exhibits some form of innovative playful interaction. The project follows a design process where physical and digital prototypes are created and the interactive experience is tested (10 HP).

Learning outcomes

After completing the course students will have demonstrated the ability to:
1. Identify the basics of playful design, and relate them to concrete examples.
2. Identify basic game components.
3. Apply basic methods in game development and playtesting, as appropriate.
4. Compare different theoretical perspectives on play and game design.
5. Plan and execute a prototyping process for simple playful behaviour using appropriate technologies.
6. Reflect on the significance of games and play.

Learning activities

The course is based on group project and individual written assignments. Instruction consists of lectures, design criticism, game sessions, design, supervision and technical guidance.


• Module 1 is examined through written individual game analysis (Learning outcome 2).
• Module 2 is examined through a presentation and an individual written reflection (Learning outcome 1).
• Module 3 is assessed by a written design documentation in groups, active participation in critique sessions, active participation in a final presentation as well as through an individual written report (Learning outcomes 3, 4 & 6).

Grading system

Fail (U) or Pass (G).

Course literature and other teaching materials

• Sicart, M. (2014). Play Matters. MIT Press.

Course evaluation

The University provides students who participate in or who have completed a course with the opportunity to make known their experiences and viewpoints with regards to the course by completing a course evaluation administered by the University. The University will compile and summarize the results of course evaluations as well as informing participants of the results and any decisions relating to measures initiated in response to the course evaluations. The results will be made available to the students (HF 1:14).


The education is provided by the Faculty of Culture and Society at the School of Arts and Communication.

Further information

Studentservice, K3 - Malmö universitet,


18 January 2021 - 28 March 2021 Day-time 100% Malmö This course is offered as part of a program