Designing for Impact: Shifting Children's Perspectives of Civic and Social Issues Through Making Mobile Games

Document Type

Conference Paper

Journal/Book Title/Conference

ACM International Conference on Interaction Design and Children




Boise, ID

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Within the growing movement to teach children computational skills and practices, it is important to understand how children engage and identify with the content they are designing. In this paper, we explore how children's perspectives of civic and social issues shift or do not shift as they make a location-based mobile game using augmented reality and location-based mobile technologies. We conducted two workshops with children, where they individually or in pairs created a narrative-based game around civic and social engagement topics such as pollution, waste management, or animal rights. We present one illustrative case in this paper to highlight how mobile, augmented reality, and location-based mobile technologies afford impactful shifts in perspective. Findings indicate that these technologies may contribute to a shift in children's perspectives about the world around them and in some cases may prompt meaningful action towards civic engagement.

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