I was able to carry out two interviews one with a 10-year-old girl and the other with a 9-year-old boy. Ideally, I would have liked to carry out these interviews with the participants in their natural environment e.g. at home where they play games. However, due to restrictions regarding COVID one took place over skype and the other in person in a neutral location. I used the questions I had generated as a guide in both interviews to get a clear overview of optimal learning environments and approaches, as well as the most engaging gameplay, approaches.
I recorded and scribed both interviews and have included each below. The scripts have been colour coded highlighting nuggets that can be cross-referenced with the below table which highlights what topic the nugget relates to.
After having completed the below-tagging taxonomy it became clear that my tags were far too specific to this project. However, this technique has still been incredibly helpful as an analytic tool that has allowed me to gain insights into participant responses and what areas require the most consideration in my product. In the tables below I have highlighted my tags in bright colours along the left-hand column the cells in grey relate to responses from participant one and the cells in blue relate to responses from participant 2.
The above insights demonstrate the users desire to build and create in games as well as complete puzzles and dress avatars. Other noted features include talking to people in games and working together with friends. The primary goals of games are to get wins, coins, gain “stuff” and become successful. Pain points include getting hacked, requiring an email when the user does not have one, too high a difficulty level and having to reload when they lose internet connection. Features that stop users from playing games include violence and bad language.
Insights into learning where that quick task-focused subjects were preferred i.e. maths and subjects that included physical activity i.e PE and science. A favourite learning environment for both participants was working in groups which extended individually to completing quizzes and creative writing. Historical and environmental topics were discussed. Both participants identified English as their least favourite subject and disliked reading. Positive elements of learning included getting questions correct, completing work quickly and time with friends. Neither participant had a full understanding of elements or the periodic table however Toca elements, a game app created for children had provided one participant with a rudimentary understanding. Both participants had some prior knowledge of Space, knew the name of planets and were able to recite facts about the distance between planets.
Participants used a range of devices, one participant did not have access to a phone. Both played games alone in their room with the music on and in a multiplayer mode.
Insights relating to combining learning and game-playing as well as optimising game-playing were the inclusion of practical activities in games, creating an adventure game, including math activities and incorporating realistic graphics in games.
- Users enjoy learning in a group environment and playing games with multi-player features and interactions
- Users least favourite learning type- reading and writing
- Some baseline understanding of what elements are e.g. that we breathe in oxygen but can’t articulate that oxygen is an element.
- Always play games with music on
- Users will disengage with a game if it is too difficult.
- The goal of gameplay is to win, collect resources, display game-playing skills.
- Ideal games are adventure games and games with good graphics.