Group play appears to have a positive effect on the physical and mental development of children. However, it is unclear what the effective elements of a group play intervention are. With colleagues from the Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital in Utrecht, we set out to thoroughly evaluate their “This is Me” sports- and play-based cognitive behavior therapy program. Major challenge was to systematically measure those aspects that measure play and wellbeing. The preprint of our article in Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry is now online. We are looking forward to hear from other groups that focus on measuring the process of group-based play therapy.
Our paper on tracking players to estimate their exertion has been published in IJHCS. This is work by Alejandro Moreno, together with Dirk Heylen and Jenny L. Gibson. We demonstrate that unobtrusive tracking, in the context of interactive play, can be readily used as a group measure for exertion. This shows promise for real-time adaptation of game mechanics, to keep exertion within a desirable range.
On April 21, Alejandro Moreno successfully defended his PhD thesis “From Traditional to Interactive Playspaces: Automatic Analysis of Player Behavior in the Interactive Tag Playground”. Congratulations!
He will now continue this exciting work as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Twente. In the mean time, check out the accepted Entertainment Computing paper on subjective and objective evaluation of technology-enhanced playgrounds.
An open-access paper by Alejandro Moreno and me is published at the Journal on Multimodal User Interfaces (JMUI). Download it here. We discuss how to automate the analysis of behavior of playing children. We compare traditional tag with an interactive version played in our Interactive Playground. We also introduce two algorithms for the detection of tagger and runner roles by looking at interactions between children.
Two papers were accepted for the International Conference on Intelligent Technologies for Interactive Entertainment (Intetain). Wolfgang Hürst, Jerry van Angeren and I will present our work on mixed-reality gaming using gestures. And with Alejandro Moreno, I will share our user evaluation of the Interactive Tag Playground, in which we measured similar (social and exertion) behavior but higher levels of engagement and fun.
Dutch Radio 1 aired a nice item on our Interactive Tag Playground in the programme 1Vandaag on March 26st. You can listen to the segment here. UTNieuws also published an article on our work, and Robby van Delden explains on RTV Oost (at 4:40) how the playground works.“Tikkertje 2.0” can be experienced in the Tetem art hall in Enschede until April 26th.