Universiteit Leiden

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The qualified self: Playing with data in daily life

Thursday 22 February 2018
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

Recently we have witnessed a proliferation of wearable interfaces that are used for tracking activities, food intake or measuring heart-rate. From apps on mobile phones to smart-watches and smart-bands, users are encouraged to measure their daily lives and activities. The emergence of such technologies is often celebrated as offering us chances to control our own healthy body through measuring and regulating data. In other words, they enable us to quantify ourselves. Yet, my presentation taps into to a growing understanding in the field that users can also engage in processes that qualify such data. It will further this emerging stance by introducing play as a trope for analysis. Competition, earning points, but also cheating, are ways for users to give meaning to processes of self-monitoring. By analysing the ludic affordances of wearable interfaces, I will substantiate how play can be part of such practices and how this can offer new ways to qualify the quantified self.

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