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“We are two strong women” - designing empowerment in a pervasive game
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences. (Mobile Life Centre)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9324-1994
2013 (English)In: Proceedings of DiGRA 2013: DeFragging Game Studies, Digital Games Research Association DiGRA , 2013, 126-135 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Gender-aware design is important in computer games in general, and perhaps even more so in the design of pervasive games, as these are played in the ordinary world. As pervasive games blur the distinction between game and non-game situations, they influence the everyday lives of their players.

We discuss the design process for the game 'Codename Heroes' from a gender-aware perspective. The focus is on how players reacted to the experience of playing the game during a sequence of design workshops. We found that playing the game made people less sensitive to 'fear of the outside'. The participants were aware they ‘should’ feel unsafe in unknown neighbourhoods, but mostly did not. Furthermore, a combination of collaboration with internal competition fostered a sense of empowerment. Finally, we could confirm what previous researchers have seen, that women participants tended to blame themselves, rather than the technology or the situation, for errors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Digital Games Research Association DiGRA , 2013. 126-135 p.
Keyword [en]
gender aware, pervasive game, design for young women
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Human-machine interaction
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-95136OAI: diva2:658665
The 6th Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) Conference, DeFragging Game Studies, Atlanta, GA, August 26-29, 2013
Available from: 2013-10-22 Created: 2013-10-22 Last updated: 2013-11-29Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Designing Activity and Creating Experience: On People’s Play in Public places
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Designing Activity and Creating Experience: On People’s Play in Public places
2013 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis deals with the design of play in public places; this can mean both pervasive games and other freer play activities. In these activities (as well as in many other game activities) the same game can spur many different ways to play it, and the same activity can be experienced differently by different players, and even differently on different occasions for the same player. An activity such as playing must be observed as a whole. The surrounding cul- ture, player preconceptions and the emergent mood within the group will affect the experience.

By analysing previous frameworks, and using own design examples, a three level design framework is developed, functioning as a lens towards understanding the design of playful activities. The framework focuses on the player perspective, offering game design as an invitation and encouragement to engage in certain activities. The framework distinguishes between design at three levels:

  1. Designed construct (e.g. artefacts and rules)
  2. Activity
  3. Experiences

But it remains to be understood why people engage in the activities that lead to playful experiences. What encourages playful engagement? And why do people want to play one game, and not another?

This question can be split into two parts:

  • Engagement: starting to be interested in the activity
  • Commitment: actually caring for the experience

This issue is identified in the thesis, and examples show how convoluted this problem is, in particular in pervasive game settings. Challenges are pre- sented for future work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, 2013. 60 p.
Report Series / Department of Computer & Systems Sciences, ISSN 1101-8526 ; 13-011
game design, play, activity, experience, enjoyment, fun
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Research subject
Human-machine interaction; Mobile Life
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-95143 (URN)
2013-11-20, Sal C, Stockholms universitet, Forum 100, Kista, 13:00
Mobile Life CentrePlayspaces
Available from: 2013-11-29 Created: 2013-10-22 Last updated: 2014-01-31Bibliographically approved

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