Crispi

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Abstract

Play experiences are generally considered immersive experiences, meaning that the design of a toy should also consider how the immersion into the experience happens. Although the design of toys has often been a focus of design research, a better understanding of the relationship between the toy and the facilitation of a (particular) play experience is still being sought after. The research described in this article is intended to establish the foundations for better understanding this area, uncovering the link between immersion in play experiences and the toy as a facilitator of immersion, leading to a new model termed CRISPI. The research draws on theoretical perspectives of play experiences, immersion, and toy design in the development of the initial edition of the CRISPI model. The model was further trialed empirically in a master’s level course, explicating the validity of the principles of the model in the projects created by design students and further refining the model through discussions and feedback of their work in relation to the principles of the model. This led to a set of six principles that are considered beneficial when designing objects for facilitating immersive experiences. The projects described in the article illustrate how the model can be used as guidance during a design process and as an analytical tool for understanding toys. The article further exemplifies how the design of a toy may support a specific play experience, relating to the classification of six distinct play forms. Using the CRISPI model can be relevant for both scholars of play and design and for practitioners designing play objects. It is seen as a valuable first step in exploring the identified gap of knowledge in relation to the design of toys for immersive play experiences.