Dr Kate Howland (Informatics) and Catherine Grundy (Product Design), University of Sussex - an overview of an ongoing project using location-aware game creation as a widening participation activity for young people. Kate and Catherine presented some example games and highlighted the skills and understandings involved in the activity, and noted how this project relates to their broader research agendas.
Widening Participation Widening access and improving participation in Higher Education Ensuring that social background does not inhibit access to, and success within, HE. Widening Participation team at Sussex
Location-aware games Also known as location-based games or pervasive games Played on mobile devices Essential point: the player’s location has an important impact on gameplay
Creating a computer game can be a highly motivating activity for young people. There are many attempts to harness the power of game for learning in the classroom, but these often fall flat because learning content can be clumsily implanted and not well integrated into the game mechanics. There is also a more fundamental question of how important the voluntary aspect of game play is, and whether something irreversible changes when you’re asked to play games for school.
Game creation is a different category of activity, however. The use of authoring tools aimed at novices allows young people to create their own games – an authentic and understandable challenging task, where you output will be played and hopefully enjoyed by real people – hard work is expected
SWT run Summer camps for kids age 6-13 - 85% are between 6 and 8 Engagement with nature at an impressionable age is more likely to lead to a life long engagement and interest – so they would like to engage ages 9 and upwards
Some reasons while older children don’t engage (from projectwildthing.com): Not ‘cool’ Rather be: TV, Computer Games, Sport, being with Friends
ARIS Game creation platform that lets people without a technical background create their own location-aware game. Particularly focussed on supporting character and story-based games
Editor Web-based editor with a map view – useable for most people comfortable with using interactive websites and filling in forms Objects can be added to the game for the player to interact with – these can be locations, items or characters Creating games like this naturally introduces interactivity – players want games to react to their actions, and designers want to include this interactivity You can do simple programming in a table based form in the requirements editor, and write interactive conversations where the player has choices, and there are different outcomes based on the choices they make In this way many early computing concepts such as conditionals are naturally introduced.
We also made used of some animation software called Morfo which let’s the young designers create animated media as part of their game
Designing Location-aware Nature Games
Designing Location-aware Nature
Games: Widening Participation in
Informatics and Product Design
Kate Howland (Informatics)
Cathy Grundy (Product Design)
• Widening Participation
• Location-aware games
Why game design?
• Design vs. Play
• Real world challenge area:
• older children not engaging in Sussex Wildlife
• make a game that would encourage older
children to engage with nature in Stanmer
• June 2013 and June 2014
• 24 pupils from a local primary school (all
• Activities (on campus, at Stanmer Park and
• Park visits for inspiration, content gathering
and testing – using iPad minis
• Character and narrative design activities
• Implementation of games –using school and