WorthPlay in Scotland

In mid-July 2013, we conducted a study of WorthPlay in Dundee, Scotland. The study was carried out at the Dundee User Centre (an informal "drop-in" centre for older adults keen to learn about computing and modern digital technologies) based in the School of Computing at the University of Dundee. The aim of the study was to observe attendees at the centre playing and creating games on the WorthPlay gaming platform, to gather their feedback on their experiences, and to identify the similarities and potential cultural differences between game playing in Scotland and game playing in Spain. 

 

Two sessions were held over the course of two days. In the first session, participants were invited to play two games created by researchers at the University of Dundee using the WorthPlay gaming platform - "The Dundee Quiz" and "The Scottish Quiz". Participants were encouraged to use their general knowledge to answer questions on the local area and the country as a whole. In the second session, we asked participants to organize themselves into groups, and challenged them to create their own quizzes for their peers to play.

 

Both sessions were well attended (16 participants attended both days) and, while we are still analysing the results, feedback on both days was extremely encouraging. In terms of playing games, participants enjoyed the educational nature of the games, learning new things that they didn't know about the local area, and keeping their brain active. In terms of game creation, participants were able to create a wide variety of quizzes, and seemed to enjoy coming up with tough questions for their colleagues! We found that the system worked as a fantastic "ice breaker" between attendees at the User Centre who didn't really know each other (as they often attend on different days), and the process worked well as a group activity - one long-term attendee noted that sometimes it was difficult to encourage group discussions or activities within the centre that engaged everybody, but he noticed how these particular activities did just that.

 

Finally, many of the participants were keen to play the games when they got home, and there are plans to organise informal quizzes using the platform in the future - suggestions included a Christmas quiz in the days leading up to period when the centre closes for the Christmas holidays.