The ‘games in the park’ project investigates how technological interventions can encourage outdoor play for children aged 8 to 12. A series of location-based games have been created via a co-design process in response to a real world design problem highlighted by a local wildlife trust. The trust had found that 8 to 12 year olds are less inclined to voluntarily attend countryside events to learn about nature than younger children. The focus for the work was to develop games that make use of Global Positioning System (GPS) data to encourage interaction with nature by older children. A key challenge in this design problem is achieving a balance between the user engaging with the physical environment whilst maintaining awareness of the game directives through mobile technology. In particular, to investigate how the flow of activity through the game could be maintained, comparing the use of rewards for tasks in contrast to the use of characters and stronger narrative elements. The children helped to co-design and create a series of games to inform the project. Both the reward focused and character/ narrative game types were enjoyed equally in this experiment. A series of other observations helped to refine the complex ‘wicked problem’ being investigated and extended the development of design guidelines for games of this type.
|Title of host publication
|Proceedings of the 2nd Fascinate Conference Thoughtful Technology & Beautiful Interfaces
|Place of Publication
|Number of pages
|Published - 31 Aug 2014
- Location-Based Games
- natural and cultural heritage