Entertaining Situated Messaging at Home
Leisure and entertainment-based computing has been traditionally associated with interactive entertainment media and game playing, yet the forms of engagement offered by these technologies only support a small part of how we act when we are at leisure. In this paper, we move away from the paradigm of leisure technology as computer-based entertainment consumption, and towards a broader view of leisure computing. This perspective is more in line with our everyday experience of leisure as an embodied, everyday accomplishment in which people artfully employ the everyday resources in the world around them in carrying out their daily lives outside of work. We develop this extended notion of leisure using data from a field study of domestic communication focusing on asynchronous and situated messaging to explore some of these issues, and develop these findings towards design implications for leisure technologies. Central to our discussion on the normal, everyday and occasioned conduct of leisure lie the notions of playfulness and creativity, the interweaving of the worlds of work and leisure, and in the creation of embodied displays of affect, all of which may be seen manifested in the use of messaging artefacts. This view of technology in support of leisure-in-the-broad is strongly divergent from traditional entertainment computing models in its coupling of the mechanics of the organisation of everyday life to the ways that we make entertainment for ourselves. This recognition allows us to draw specific implications for domestic situated messaging technologies, but also more generally for technology design by tying activities that we tend to regard as purely functional to other multifaceted and leisure-related purposes.