Digital serious games have shown to be effective in promoting citizen engagement and social interaction. The reasons for their success are, however, unknown. This paper proposes design recommendations to support designers of serious games for meaningful social interaction, based on player preferences, needs and desires, based on literature study and a case study for which a location-based game framework was designed, developed and evaluated. The case study with and for children/teenagers in Rotterdam focussed on the design of challenges by the children/teenagers for meaningful interaction with their environment, and the strengthening of their engagement with their own neighbourhood. The paper focuses specifically on: 1) if and when meaningful social interaction occurred during game play, how it occurred, and with which impact, and 2) the design choices/features that contributed to (the experience of) meaningful social interaction. On the basis of these results and the literature this paper proposes design recommendations to support designers of serious games for meaningful social interaction, taking not only the current players’ needs and desires into account but also those of future players.
- Serious games
- Social interaction