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Thursday, October 17 • 10:00 - 11:00
Hidden in the Park – how research on online sexual grooming was turned into a mixed media augmented reality board game

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The game Hidden in the park is intended for use in a school environment and the target group is 8 to 10 year old children. The purpose of the game is to create a pedagogical situation in which risks with sharing information online can be safely experienced off line by playing the game. We will present how a research based game design has been developed into a finished game in collaboration between researchers at the University of Skövde and professional game developers at IUS Innovation. Specific focus will be on how game evaluations have been planned, performed and communicated between the researchers and IUS Innovation as part of an iterative design process to fully ensure that the research based game mechanics are kept intact throughout the production of the game. We will share our experiences of this process from the researchers' and game developers' perspectives. Hidden in the park is a mixed media augmented reality board game, with the central game mechanics based on substantial and original research on online sexual grooming. From a body of 12000 pages of true chat logs from a Swedish social media site, four sexual offender strategies were extracted: flattery, coercion, bribes and threats. These offender strategies serve as the basic game mechanics in the game. The game is basically a treasure hunting game, and it has no sexual or frightening content. Each player hides a treasure and gets in return 4 clue cards that might reveal the treasures' hiding places. Therefore players should mind these clue cards not to reveal the location of their treasure to other players. A NPC in the game will use the offender strategies extracted from the original research on online sexual grooming to lure players to take photos and send them to the NPC. The game will be released during September of 2019 and it will be delivered free of charge to all preliminary schools in Sweden.
The final game has been funded by The World Child Foundation, IUS Innovation, Svenska Postkodslotteriet and the University of Skövde.

avatar for Marcus Laitila Ekelund

Marcus Laitila Ekelund

Marcus Laitila Ekelund is a Project Manager at IUS Innovation’s Skövde office, where he and his colleagues focus on bringing the power of interactive media and games to areas within healthcare and education. He is currently working with The Rural Economy and Agricultural Societies... Read More →
avatar for Ulf Wilhelmsson

Ulf Wilhelmsson

Lecturer, University of Skövde
Ulf Wilhelmsson is associate professor in media, aesthetics and narration at the University of Skövde, Sweden. He holds a Ph.D from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. His research interests lies primarily within computer game studies and integrate film theory, cognitive theory... Read More →

Thursday October 17, 2019 10:00 - 11:00 CEST