Digital making is the process of using digital technologies creatively in order to make new products or digital artefacts (Sefton-Green, 2013). The approach to this form of making has its roots in the world of computer programming, but although programming skills often form part of the process, concepts from art and design, engineering and problem solving are also significant components of the intellectual framework. Active engagement with digital tools contributes to an understanding of how digital media work, and in so doing both a more creative and a more active critical engagement with prevailing technological environments results. With an understanding of how digital technologies can make meaning for people comes opportunity for enterprise in creating new value and meeting market needs.

An important aspect of digital making is the notion of play. As a frequently improvisational and social activity, digital making includes trial-and-error and collaborative approach to learning. Digital making not only contributes to the making of games, but also emulates game-like thinking in its approach - seeking solutions, reaching goals and solving problems through exploration and experimentation.

Digital making is often expressed as ‘hacking’, which presumes a hands-on approach to re-using, re-appropriating, remodelling and reinventing existing technologies in order to make new and previously unimagined ones. Those new technologies may be virtual, physical or some combination of the two, but the process of digital making that underpins the hacker activity is a productive and creative one that blurs the line between user and creator, producer and consumer, performer and audience. Creative processes from pre-digital media forms provide a range of metaphors with which to understand digital making: e.g. editing, composing, producing, developing. However, digital making is an inherently iterative process, in the sense that everything that can be made in the digital environment can be remade and repurposed again.

Digital making not only retrieves and reinforces the agency of citizenry when it comes to culture and media, it also provides a uniquely fertile space for creative enterprise and entrepreneurship due to the abundance of raw materials, the removal of physical restrictions on creativity and the speed with which a new tool can be taken to market, tested, altered, revised and remade. Digital making is both creative engagement and empowering opportunity with a low entry barrier, low risk and potential for high rewards.

Sefton-Green, J (2013) Mapping digital makers: a review exploring everyday creativity, learning lives and the digital. Nominet Trust state of the art reviews, Nominet Trust, Oxford, UK