Evaluating outdoor play for children: virtual vs. tangible game objects in pervasive games.
ABSTRACT In this paper we report a case study where two versions of the same outdoor pervasive game were compared: one featuring a virtual game object and the other with a tangible representation of it. Our aim was to explore the effect on social interaction and physical activity; two characteristics of Head-Up Games. Based on evaluation with 27 children we can conclude that both approaches support Head-Up Games well, and offer different design opportunities that should be explored further. Categories and Subject Descriptors H.1.2 (Information Systems): User/Machine Systems.
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ABSTRACT: There is a growing body of research in pervasive outdoor gaming, mainly focused on adult players playing games on smart phones. Published evaluations of the player experience in such games are largely based on anecdotal descriptions and post-play surveys. The latter approach is especially challenging to apply when the play test participants are children. Observations of game play so far have been ad hoc relying on unstructured observation, which makes it difficult to extract reliable conclusions from observations and to draw comparisons between different games. In this paper we present two methods developed specifically for evaluating the player experience in children’s outdoor games: the Outdoor Play Observation Scheme (OPOS) and GroupSorter. We discuss their application in three different case studies and conclude that OPOS is useful in quantifying the different types of play behavior in outdoor games; GroupSorter adds qualitative data on the play experience. Moreover, the application of GroupSorter is not limited to game development but can be used for obtaining user input in other context as well.Entertainment Computing 02/2013; 4(1-1):25-38. DOI:10.1016/j.entcom.2012.09.003
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ABSTRACT: This paper reflects on the design process of games that are played by multiple players, involving high pace activity and embodied interaction. More specifically it argues that user testing with low fidelity prototypes, which is recommended in mainstream literature on methodology in the fields of human computer interaction and game design, is not appropriate when designing these kind of games. Designers should instead, as early as possible in the design process, experiment with technology and expose working prototypes to play test with children. A case study, in which we designed several games and tested in three iterations, is also presented. The games were designed for and tested with RaPIDO, a specially designed platform for prototyping mobile and interactive technology. Finally, we argue that our hypothesis regarding technology-rich prototyping is confirmed, since the feedback from the children concerned the realized interaction, and aspects of play and social interaction were experienced in real context, instead of an imagined way as a mock-up would have allowed.Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children; 01/2013
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ABSTRACT: This paper explores how different interfaces to a problem-solving task affect how users perform it. Specifically, it focuses on a customized version of the game of Four-in-a-row and compares play on a physical, tangible game board with that conducted in mouse and touch-screen driven virtual versions. This is achieved through a repeated measures study involving a total of 36 participants and which explicitly assesses aspects of cognitive work through measures of time task, subjective workload, the projection of mental constructs onto external structures and the occurrence of explanatory epistemic actions. The results highlight the relevance of projection and epistemic action to this problem-solving task and suggest that the different interface forms afford instantiation of these activities in different ways. The tangible version of the system supports the most rapid execution of these actions and future work on this topic should explore the unique advantages of tangible interfaces in supporting epistemic actions.Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction; 02/2013