From interactive surfaces to interactive game pieces in hybrid board games
Journal of Ambient Intelligence and Smart Environments (JASIE)
Recent advances in interactive surfaces and Tangible User Interfaces (TUIs) created new opportunities for hybrid board games, aiming at mixing the social affordances of traditional board games with the interactivity of video games. Within this strand of research, we propose an approach centred on the concepts of tokens, constraints, spatial expressions and interaction events. Rather than using interactive surfaces as primary interaction medium, our approach relies on physical manipulation of interactive, computer-augmented game pieces on conventional surfaces. The design of our approach has been informed by a literature review which has taken into account twenty-seven hybrid board games from both academia and industry. The review allowed us to identify technology strands used to implement interactive board games and discuss pros and cons of the different alternatives in the design space. After describing our approach, we report how it has been applied to the design and develop-ment of a game for training of emergency workers. Building on feedbacks from user evaluation and our experience with the development, we outline design opportunities and challenges of the approach.