Through the Round Window

Posted by Cha

Playing Flower means looking through a window into another world. Something like Play School and its variously-shaped windows, maybe.

Play School uses windows as excursions into everyday life, and as a kid I found this hopelessly dull next to the other crafts, games and stories. The ritual of choosing the window and going through it got my hopes up that it would be something worthwhile, but it was always just people doing ordinary things. Why would I be interested in that? The parts I didn't appreciate at the time were, I imagine, meant to give Aussie kids a view of other kids in situations they could relate to.


Balance of Nature

Posted by Cha

Earlier this month I was linked to this article on Flower. As an ecologist who works in urban spaces it was fascinating to me, and described something close to my own experience playing Flower. I really wish I'd written something like it, particularly the parts about breaking down the separation between humans and nature. On another level, the article suffers from what I have been known to call 'Matrix ecology' -- a poor choice of terminology, since matrix usually means something else in landscape ecology. I should possibly call it something more like 'popular culture ecology'.

(Tangent: computers and ecology seem to have a few awkward terminology overlaps. We've also started talking about 'landscape defragmentation'.)

Most people probably remember this rant from Agent Smith in The Matrix: