PhD Defense in Digital Media
Liliana Andreia da Rocha Santos
Date, time and place:
June 29, 14:00, Sala de Atos FEUP
President of the Jury:
Pedro Nuno Ferreira da Rosa da Cruz Diniz, PhD, Full Professor, Departamento de Engenharia Informática, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto.
Teresa Isabel Lopes Romão, PhD, Associate Professor, Departamento de Informática, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa;
João Paulo Fonseca da Costa Moura, PhD, Assistant Professor, Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro;
Paulo Simeão de Oliveira Ferreira de Carvalho, PhD, Assistant Professor, Departamento de Física e Astronomia, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto;
António Fernando Vasconcelos Cunha Castro Coelho, Associate Professor with Habilitation, Departamento de Engenharia Informática, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto (Supervisor);
Rui Pedro Amaral Rodrigues, PhD, Associate Professor, Departamento de Engenharia Informática, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto.
“Science Communication assumes increasing importance to encourage people to become more conscious about natural heritage, which is most important for a sustainable society.
This thesis proposes the use of location-based serious games as an effective digital media tool for science communication of natural heritage. We hypothesise that serious games can be an effective tool for science communication of natural heritage and that location-based serious games can further improve science communication of natural heritage by allowing that science communication message to occur in its respective physical context (in loco). With our research questions, we set out to find the role of serious games for science communication of natural heritage, how can location-based serious games contribute to science communication of natural heritage, and how we can help others design location-based serious games for science communication of natural heritage.
A systematic literature review helped to understand the possible roles of serious games in science communication. It revealed that serious games can raise awareness, enjoyment, interest, opinions and understanding of our natural heritage. We also identified different types of technologies, game mechanics and science communication contents that these games integrate.
This research follows the methodology of design science research. We developed three game prototypes to understand how location-based serious games can contribute to this area, thus answering the second research question. These games included a map with points of interest, the location from a Global Navigation Satellite System, geotagged information, contextualised mini-games, a collectables photo gallery, and content for the general public. They were developed within the context of a specific natural park, however, the concept can be adapted and applied to different parks, botanical gardens, and other green spaces.
The knowledge and experience obtained with the literature review and the creation of the prototypes helped develop a framework and guidelines for creating location-based serious games for science communication of natural heritage, thus answering the third research question. The framework includes the context, objectives, how to do it, the product and the responses. The guidelines further assist in the analysis, design, development and evaluation. A co-creation workshop for designing location-based serious games for an urban park was created to validate the framework and the guidelines.
Location-based serious games are an effective digital media tool for science communication of natural heritage, allowing communicating in a more contextualised way and further enhancing the visitor experience. Our main contributions are the framework and guidelines, for designing location-based serious games for science communication of natural heritage.”
Keywords: Serious Games, Location-Based Games, Science Communication, Natural Heritage.