ct 17(12): e1

Research Article

Designing intelligent games adapting to children’s playing maturity

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  • @ARTICLE{10.4108/eai.3-10-2017.153154,
        author={Emmanouil Zidianakis and Kalliopi Stratigi and Danai Ioannidi and Nikolaos Partarakis and Margherita Antona and Constantin Stephanidis},
        title={Designing intelligent games adapting to children’s playing maturity},
        journal={EAI Endorsed Transactions on Creative Technologies},
        keywords={Ambient Intelligence, Games, Serious games, Occupational Therapy, Interaction, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, Touch based interaction, Virtual character simulation, Virtual assistant, Interactive tabletop surfaces, Pervasive computing},
  • Emmanouil Zidianakis
    Kalliopi Stratigi
    Danai Ioannidi
    Nikolaos Partarakis
    Margherita Antona
    Constantin Stephanidis
    Year: 2017
    Designing intelligent games adapting to children’s playing maturity
    DOI: 10.4108/eai.3-10-2017.153154
Emmanouil Zidianakis1,*, Kalliopi Stratigi1, Danai Ioannidi1, Nikolaos Partarakis1, Margherita Antona1, Constantin Stephanidis1
  • 1: Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH), Institute of Computer Science, Heraklion, GR-70013, Greece
*Contact email: zidian@ics.forth.gr


Play is a voluntary activity in which individuals involve for pleasure. It is very important for children because through playing they learn to explore, develop and master physical and social skills. Play development is part of the child’s growth and maturation process since birth. As such, it is widely used in the context of Occupational Therapy (OT). Occupational therapists use activity analysis to shape play activities for therapeutic use and promote an environment where the child can approach various activities while playing. This paper builds on knowledge stemming from the processes and theories used in OT and activity analysis to present the design, implementation and deployment of a new version of the popular farm game as deployed within an Ambient Intelligence (AmI) simulation space. Within this space, an augmented interactive table and a three-dimensional avatar are employed to extend the purpose and objectives of the game, thus also expanding its applicability to the age group of preschool children from 3 to 6 years old. More importantly, through the environment, the game monitors and follows the progress of each young player, adapts accordingly and provides important information regarding the abilities and skills of the child and their development over time. The developed game was evaluated through a small scale study with children of the aforementioned age groups, their parents, and child care professionals. The outcomes of the evaluation were positive for all target groups and provided significant evidence regarding its potential to offer novel play experience to children, but also act as a valuable tool to child care professionals.