PUBBY is a social media innovation attempt at building a social tool that seeks to address these shortcomings while at the same time leveraging current developments in technology that not only enable better ways of connecting with people but are increasingly establishing new interactive relationships with the computer itself through use of human sensory capabilities such as touch and gesture as input modes, to go beyond the conventional input devices of the mouse and keyboard.
In recognizing these possibilities, PUBBY as an innovative experimentation challenges itself into building an environment of play through storytelling, whereby, rather than being tied down to a device, the child is left free to use gestures and body movements to interact with the computing environment.
In the process, PUBBY leverages for its development the following conditions:
(i) A natural inclination of children in their pre-operational stage of development (2-7 years) to be curious and expressive, to explore, to learn and to share with family and friends;
(ii) The agency of social media as a technology with global outreach into different geographies and cultures to connect with a diverse group of audiences and resources (stories, images, sounds, languages). In the process enriching the child’s social and learning environments;
(iii) The agency of the puppet as a universal and hence an easily recognizable entity of play as well as a potent cultural tool for socialization through exchange of puppet-driven storytelling (with all the learning that remains incipient to such activities of conviviality).
PUBBY is based on work that has been driven by a design-oriented research approach using participatory design that encourages children to use PUBBY to build their own stories. Own characters, etc,. In their bid to connect with the real outside world. This participatory design process has been consciously used as a design tool right from its ideation stage to the development of the concepts, and moving on to evaluating the prototype.
The physical hand puppets have a virtual representation in the virtual environment as a character. The gestures/act the child performed while wearing the puppet is limited by virtual representation of a character on the screen. This gives an immediate feedback to the child that he/she has full control over the character both virtually and physically. Which results in a sense of achievement, as he/she experiences the outcome of their roleplaying.
The feedback further extends to auditory feedback; character on screen reacts to the voice input, if the child gives a voice command the character will follow that as well. Similarly the peer connected remotely can see his and his friend’s character on screen together, to enable multiplayer activity. This provides an intuitive platform to interact, engage, play, and learn from their mentors and peer who are not located in the same physical space.
- Applications for children with special needs and the elderly.
- Interactive remote collaborative learning games
Case Study Download:
• Game design for PUBBY - An Interactive Environment for Children......