The umpire whispers: “Please Play.” We sort of play. But it is all hypothetical, somehow. Even the “we” is theory: I never get quite to see the distant opponent, for all the apparatus of the game (Wallace, 2011, Infinite Jest, Hachette, UK). We find no reason to abandon the notion of play as a distinct and highly important factor in the world's life and doings. All play means something. If we call the active principle that makes up the essence of play, “instinct,” we explain nothing; if we call it “mind” or “will” we say too much. However, we may regard it, the very fact that play has a meaning implies a nonmaterialistic quality in the nature of the thing itself (Huizinga, 2014, Homo Ludens, Ils 86, Routledge, London.). This paper builds on the notion of integration of creativity and play in design and engineering environments. We show results of ongoing research and experimentation with cyber-physical systems (CPS) and multimodal interactions. The use of computational tools for creative processing and idea generation in design and engineering are mostly based on commonly available 2D or 3D CAD programs, applications, and systems. Computer-generated creativity is mostly based on combinatorial power and computational algorithms of the intrinsic system duly orchestrated by the user to manifest outcomes on a variety of processes. However, integrated game-based CPS ecosystems could enhance the uptake of play, imagination, and externalization within the design and engineering process.

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