From England to Uganda: Children Designing and Evaluating Serious Games

Sim, Gavin Robert orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-9713-9388, Read, Janet C orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7138-1643, Gregory, Peggy orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-7891-6666 and Xu, Diane (2014) From England to Uganda: Children Designing and Evaluating Serious Games. Human-Computer Interaction, 30 (3-4). pp. 263-293. ISSN 0737-0024

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The participation of end users in the design and evaluation of technologies has long been an important principle in Human Computer Interaction (HCI). This paper reports a study to ascertain to what extent children using participatory methods could effectively design for a surrogate population. Fifty children, from a UK primary school, participated in a design activity to specify a serious game for children in Uganda. The children’s designs were analysed and were shown to have effectively incorporated learning and gaming aspects. Based on these designs a serious game was developed. This new serious game and the commercial game ‘Angry Birds’ were both evaluated for fun with 25 children in Uganda, using the Fun Toolkit and the This or That method. The results suggested that the children found both games fun, thus confirming that the children in the UK could effectively design a fun game for a surrogate population. Despite the positive results, the reliability of the evaluation methods is questioned. Inconsistencies were noted within the individual evaluation tools and the comparative results for some constructs yielded a low reliability score. We conclude that further research is required to establish suitable evaluation methods for evaluating fun with children in developing countries.

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