Ze Frank, Prolific Player

Ze Frank receives the Major FUN Award for being perhaps one of the most prolifically playful presences on the web.

There are so many examples of his work that he is sharing, virtually for free, that it is difficult to select any as truly exemplary. Let’s begin with this rather straightforward collection of virtual matchstick puzzles. Why? Because it’s what you’d expect from a collection of virtual matchstick puzzles: clear, challenging, easy to use, fun to solve. Not particularly playful, but respectful of play and the needs of players. Now let’s try just one more game-like experience. It’s a Memory Game. All right, it’s Concentration. But notice how each image is animated? Now it’s truly a virtual game, not just translating a card game into the electronic medium, but transforming it.

Now take a look at Ze’s Animated Snowflake. Not a game at all, but a unique bit of interactive delight. Technologically sophisticated. Easy to understand. Lovely to behold.

And here’s one more, well, maybe two more examples of yet another gift of Ze’s playfulness. It’s called “Blow.” It’s an invitation. People are asked to send in a picture of themselves, blowing. Ze adds their picture to a growing blowing collage. It’s, well, silly. It’s also an invitation to fun and sharing and community. And here’s one more: My Cat Annie. It’s a statement, is what it is, of the further reaches of Ze’s playfulness. And, for those of us who wonder whether this world can be made more fun, it’s a reason for hope.

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