The growing number of video gamers over the age of fifty has sparked new interests in the transformative power of play and consequently, video games, for a larger demographic of citizens. Researchers have found that digital gaming can have positive effects on the physical, psychological and cognitive well-being of older adults. Of particular interest to this thesis is the potential of games to facilitate social connections between different generations of players. Intergenerational games have focused on improving relations between younger people and older adults by providing enjoyable interactions that can impart cognitive and physical benefits. While previous work has focused on enhancing intergenerational social connections between relatives, non-familial intergenerational encounters have scarcely been explored. Games often feature asymmetrical participation and require long term interest, all factors that can prove challenging to implement for public non-kin intergenerational gameplay. Previous works have shown that the successful use of games is dependent on a number of psychosocial and contextual factors that shape the player experience. One of them is the degree of familiarity between players. Familiarity has been linked to many of the core motivations associated with intergenerational play, exposing doubts of whether the same motivations can be used to inform the design of intergenerational games between strangers of different ages. In addition, for most socio-technical interventions designed for older adults, the characteristics of seniors have predominantly been framed around accessibility and decline. This limited perspective also tends to be true when discussing games designed for seniors. Finally, existing research on games for seniors has mainly focused on seniors who play conventional video games and self-identify as gamers, further marginalizing seniors who do not fit these descriptions. The current design of intergenerational games might not be ready for adoption by the broader society. In response to these gaps, this thesis presents a research through design project aimed to investigate how a general population of older people (who may not be composed of video-gamers) perceive and experience game and play, and map this knowledge to promising playful approaches of intergenerational encounters while at the same time promoting a positive image of older adults as active and sociable members of society. The methodology featured a participatory approach that involved interview studies, co-design workshops, and playtests that helped to articulate the general requirements for an intergenerational game to be played in public spaces. The result of these formative exercises produced Klang Verbindet (“Sound Connects”), an interactive playful system that supports embodied interaction and group exploration of spaces. Designed to be played through body movements, the system employs vision-based algorithms and sound synthesis to provide an age- agnostic space for public play. Interactions with the system were evaluated in two different public contexts, using direct observations, semi-structured group interviews, and post-game questionnaires. Based on these data and the design and implementation of the system, the thesis describes a number of important factors to be considered when designing and evaluating games for non-familial intergenerational interaction. The most important being, to design for short-term and low-entry engagements which are defined as “low-threshold intergenerational encounters”. Within this space, the thesis discusses the distinctive value of - ambiguity, appropriation, and curiosity as drivers of gameplay for rapid mixed-aged encounters in the public context.
Ambiguity, curiosity, and appropriation fro low-threshold intergenerational encounters / Mushiba, Mark. - (2019 Oct 16), pp. 1-164.
|Titolo:||Ambiguity, curiosity, and appropriation fro low-threshold intergenerational encounters|
|Anno di pubblicazione:||2019-10-16|
|Struttura:||Dipartimento di Ingegneria e Scienza dell'Informazione|
|Corso di dottorato:||Information and Communication Technology|
|Relatore:||De Angeli, Antonella|
|Supervisori e coordinatori:||D'Andrea, Vincenzo|
|Tesi in cotutela:||no|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.15168/11572_242796|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||08.1 Tesi di dottorato (Doctoral Thesis)|