Responsible Innovation in Technology for Children (RITEC)

About the project

This project, conducted in partnership with the LEGO Group and UNICEF, will help us to understand and optimise the impact of videogames on the wellbeing of children. This is important because there are very high rates of engagement with videogames by children, and although there is some evidence that playing videogames can positively impact the wellbeing of children, majority of research has focused on the negative impacts of violent videogames.

This lab-based study will involve the collection of physiological data (such as heart rate and eye movement) from young children aged 7-13 years while they are playing videogames. Children will also be observed while they play and interviewed about their experiences. We will also show children the data that was generated while they were playing the videogames and ask them to help us interpret it.

Project aims:

  • identify aspects of videogames that children focus on when playing
  • understand how videogames impact children’s arousal and affective responses
  • develop insights that can be generated through working with children to interpret their own physiological data (collected during gameplay)

The research will utilise an experimental, lab-based observational and physiological study and will be conducted across two sessions. Both sessions will be conducted by members of the research team and will take place at the QUT Children’s Technology Centre.

Session one will take approximately one and a half hours and will comprise two twenty-minute sessions of gameplay using two age-appropriate videogames. It will include a short pre-gameplay questionnaire that will ask participants (children) about their experience playing videogames. During gameplay, a range of physiological data will be collected continuously using non-invasive devices. Participants will also be observed by researchers who will take notes in real time, as well as recorded from a series of video cameras positioned to collect footage from various angles.

Session two will be held up to two weeks after session one and will involve a 30-45 minute data prompted interview using the physiological and observational data collected in session one. In the interviews, children will be shown the data that was collected during session one and asked to help the researchers interpret it.

Data collected during these sessions will be analysed to determine the extent to which wellbeing is being impacted during play. The findings will also be interpreted in terms of their impact on a series of child-centric indicators that have been developed as part of a Wellbeing Framework in an earlier phase of the project.

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