Connecting citizens with urban environments through an augmented reality pervasive game

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The concept of Playable City situates games in public spaces to create connections between the citizens and the urban environment. To this end, Augmented Reality (AR) and pervasive technologies can provide additional information about urban objects or places and support innovative and engaging experiences to increase the user interest in the surrounding area. Understanding how these experiences affect the user interest is crucial for reaching a well-established connection between the people and the spaces around them. Our contribution is a preliminary framework to evaluate how being engaged in a playful activity improves interest and awareness in a specific urban area. The framework is based on the situated motivational affordances to establish a correlation among the users' motivations, the situation, and the employed technological artifact. We use an AR pervasive game to evaluate a playful historical experience as a technology probe. The results suggest that while playing the game, the citizens started to show a growing interest in the historical facts around them. At the same time, they began to raise concerns about other issues like sustainability, socio-environmental, and socioeconomic development.
AR pervasive games, playable cities, user engagement, user interest, situated motivational affordances
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Sánchez de Francisco, M., Díaz, P., Onorati, T. et al. (2023). Connecting citizens with urban environments through an augmented reality pervasive game. Multimed Tools Appl 82, 12939–12955