Gamification for Sustainability + Europe in Motion +
SEGAN@BHCI Conference

This edition of the SEGAN Newsletter highlights exciting SEGAN events: the Gamification for Sustainability, Europe in Motion and the SEGAN@BHCI Conference. 

Design Gamification
for a Sustainable Future


Around 250 UK high school pupils participated the SEGAN sustainability event. They were divided into smaller groups of 40, each group taking part in the Interaction Design (IxD) session and renewable technology demo.

This is a Serious Games project for Young people that drive social change, it’s working on building a “reflective young society” for the challenge of future and sustainability.  The idea is that: our actions and their impacts on Nature and resources are often not immediate present in the monetary systems. Gamification offers an alternative metric system for measuring and visualising values and the effects of human behaviours. For example it can encourage “reduce, reuse and recycle”.

Water is vital to the planet and to us.  Living in a consumer society, plastic waste is constantly generated in large quantities; some when not recycled properly, often ending up in the waterways threatening nature and our own existence in the long term.  “Project A, A for Aqua” is to challenge the “disposable culture”, and to encourage conscious consumption among young people.  In this IxD project, initial design and prototyping sessions have engaged teenagers with making a reusable water bottle, both personal and smart; and to create fun, rewarding and socially connected gamification around reducing wastage.  With the help of technology to show the positive effects, the simple act of reusing water bottle can be encouraged.


Europe in Motion 
November 22, 2014

Description: europe_in_motion.jpgAn event with title “Europe in Motion” was organised in Trikala, Greece by the Secondary Education Authorities of the area of Trikala and the Educational Authorities of the wider area of Thessaly. The event targeted educators and was well attended by 150 individuals from the area of Trikala and Karditsa.

The University of Thessaly was formally invited to be part of the program of the event, which focused on experiences from European Commission supported activities as well as the new Erasmus+ program. The University of Thessaly presented the SEGAN network on serious games as a good resource that the audience can use for building knowledge on the deployment of serious games in educational settings, for accessing information on existing games, for understanding aspects of serious game design for educational purposes, and more. 

SEGAN - HCI in Serious Games 
at the BCS HCI Conference 2014


People were invited to come to Southport, U.K. to celebrate HCI in serious games.  The “SEGAN - HCI in Serious Games” Symposium was held at the 28th BCS HCI Conference 2014, in Southport, U.K. 

The Symposium on Human Computer Interaction in Serious Games (HCI in SEGA) is an international and interdisciplinary event, co-sponsored by the European SEGAN project and the 28th BCS HCI Conference.  The goal of the Symposium is to facilitate discussion of current research and practice in serious games, and HCI as foundation for the future of SEGA in all fields.  The event is for researchers and practitioners across all related areas of serious games and HCI.

The one hour and half session was one of the main conference parallel sessions in the afternoon, and was open to all conference attendees.  SEGAN delegates could bring posters to the conference showcasing their own research – these were displayed at the conference poster sessions.

Serious Game Evaluation,
MESS Day (Mad Evaluation Session with Schoolchildren) 

MESS days are events where a whole school class of children take part in a series of activities that typically include evaluations of products, design sessions, small research studies, and activities that are purely for fun. What is unique about MESS days is that we occupy a whole classroom of children for anything between an hour and all day, depending on the work being done. The MESS day epitomizes our approach to research and interaction design with children—that it will be messy, that it should be inclusive, that it should be fun, and that it should be fast paced and constantly refreshing. 

A typical MESS day sees around thirty primary children (4 – 11 year old), and thirty secondary school children (aged 11 – 15) visiting the University and moving around several venues evaluating software and taking part in experiments that have been planned by group members. The children gather in a ‘Chill Out’ room (a PC lab) where they play specially selected games, whilst group members visit the room throughout the session and take small groups to their experiments, returning them to the ‘Chill Out’ room after they have done. In this way it is easy for the group to carry out multiple evaluations.

To support the group’s serious games research, recently the group organised evaluation studies at a local school.  Several serious game prototypes were tested around their educational values and the affordance of the game controllers. 

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