Steering Children’s Game Play Behavior

The Interactive Tag Playground (ITP) is an instrumented open space that allows for interactive play. Several players are tracked and their movements are analyzed and form the basis of several game mechanics. We use a floor-projection to visualize each player’s role, but also add novel interactive elements such as power-ups and bonuses. The ITP is more than entertainment, it doubles as a tool to record and study how people interact with each other and the environment. Our final aim is to automatically steer the interactions in such a way that all players remain engaged and physically active.

Highights of user studies

  • Fun and exhaustive; much voluntary replay
  • The game can steer the amount of exertion
  • The game can elicit risk taking behavior
  • The game can balance the cumulative duration of each player being a tagger
  • The game can seduce runners to take more risks and to get closer to the tagger
  • Team coordination across distributed teams is challenging
  • Relations between players may change when players are not collocated in the same physical space