FreeTime: A Game to help Stimulate Awareness of in-home Screen Use

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Henrik Holstein Kruse
Families can experience issues with balancing screen use with family life and other activities.
Previous studies have shown that wanting to change screen habits is common, but that it can be difficult to do so.
Gamification has emerged as a way to help people take care of tasks by making them more engaging and fun.
This study aimed at conducting a qualitative investigation of how a gamified design can help families discuss and reflect on screen use as well as alleviate tensions stemming from screen habits.
For this study, a board game was developed to be played by families at home and was tested by three danish families during the research period.
The families played it roughly four times each in order to see how it influenced their interactions and relation to screen use.
Through interviews and video analysis of play sessions, it became clear that a gamified design can have a positive impact on how families engage with screen use.
The results showed that a game can help stimulate awareness and make users more aware of their own habits and consumption levels.
It was common for participants to feel more aware of when they did not want to use their phones, which made it easier for them to subsequently put the phones away.
It was also common for family members to reference opinions revealed during the game in real life interactions in order to influence each other’s screen use.
In addition, the game context proved to be an environment where players can share tensions which might be difficult to bring up in real life situations and influence how screen use is mediated in the family.
LanguageEnglish
Publication date11 Jun 2020
Number of pages54
ID: 334050546