(Steering) interactive play behavior

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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Play is a powerful means to have an impact on the cognitive, social-emotional, and/or motor skills development. The introduction of technology brings new possibilities to provide engaging and entertaining whole-body play activities. Technology mediates the play activities and in this way changes how people play. We can use this to design systems that encourage desired types of behaviors with technology. We systematically investigated new technologically enhanced play applications. We developed several interactive systems, targeting well-founded goals, resulting in the following three systems: 1) an interactive playground platform tracking players and providing an interactive floor projection of about 5 by 5 meters, 2) an interactive ball responding to body movements and sounds with movement, tunes, and lights, and 3) games on an interactive pressure sensitive LED floor. The systems included interactions that steered the in-game play behaviour: a deliberate encouragement of particular types of targeted behavior during game play. We showed we can steer interactive play behavior in different ways: we steered behavior by forcing game rules upon users that would quite certainly change their play behaviour; alternatively, we steered behavior in a more subtle way by enticing players. We postulate that this enticing strategy has several benefits. We compared the systems and interactions to alternatives, often making use of automatic measurements, in order to systematically investigate their effects. To indicate our fondness for this comparative approach we named this intervention based play research. We included various user groups during our research: among others, this included healthy adults/students, children, gait rehabilitants, and people with Profound Intellectual and Multiple Disabilities (PIMD). We showed several opportunities for creating technologically enhanced play activities by addressing this variety of target groups. We saw several reoccurring aspects during our research. It has led us to reiterate the importance of personalization in design and evaluations. One suggestion to address personalization is to have a game-suite approach with adaptable features for each game. Overall, we created a new overview. We combined intervention based play research with steering behaviour and targeting alternative user groups. This points to new suggestions for investigating and implementing interactive play systems.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • Heylen, Dirk K.J., Supervisor
  • Reidsma, Dennis, Advisor
Award date24 Mar 2017
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-4304-0
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2017


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  • SIKS Symposium The Power of Play

    Robertus Wilhelmus van Delden (Organiser), Dirk K.J. Heylen (Organiser), J. Read (Member of programme committee), F. Floyd Mueller (Member of programme committee), Ben Schouten (Member of programme committee), Rob Tuitert (Member of programme committee), Willem Jaap Zwart (Member of programme committee), Alejandro Moreno (Participant), Ronald Walter Poppe (Participant) & Dennis Reidsma (Organiser)

    24 Mar 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganising a conference, workshop, ...

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