How is Huizinga related to Pokémon Go?

In 1938, the historian, anthropologist and founder of the new cultural history, Johan Huizinga, in his book Homo Ludens, argued that play is a structural component of every culture, as "culture appears in the form of a game that is already played from the start." This cultural, and by extension social character of play, constitutes a unique and representative function of human existence, a function that is experiential, creative, performative and ritualistic at the same time, a function through which the essence of the Man Who Plays (Homo Ludens) emerges.

Many years earlier, in 1560, the Flemish painter Peter Bruegel in his work Children's Games had depicted more than 200 children playing over 80 different games in a city.

Art, play and city formed the main axes of Katia Makrykosta's thesis entitled Seeking Homo Ludens: A participatory performance on life as play, where -among other things- the possibilities provided by contemporary digital technology create an excellent opportunity for the convergence of classical forms of art and play in mixed reality environments. In other words, a convergence where Huizinga meets Pokémon Go, Lynch's urban psychographic maps come to life through Geolocation Apps and Yoko Ono's Scores become an occasion for organized transitions in the city.

With the encouragement and guidance of her professors, Katia quickly gathered a group of young scientists, artists, curators and animators in order to share her vision. The Homo Ludens ecosystem became a reality.

Combining technological possibilities with human aesthetics, the AI system DALL·E created the "reference" on which, subsequently, the Homo Ludens logo was created. It is a Low Poly Anthropoid, inspired by the classic wind-up toy, the Jolly Monkey, a figure that is both primitive and technological, combining spontaneity, art, rhythm and marking with percussion the beginning of a new path towards the redefinition of our playful nature.