[stop the presses] Kids want to have fun

Zeven, Sindy and I headed up to Rusk on Thursday to meet the kids for the first time. We told them a little bit about ITP and the wheelchair camera tracking project. Mostly, though, we were interested in hearing about what they’re looking for in a recreation room, and the kinds of things they like to do.

The childrens’ responses were across the board:

  • Music and singing
  • Art: Collage, sculpting
  • Uno, Candyland
  • Jenga, Uno Stacko, Mancala
  • Sports typically played outside: archery, baseball, football
  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Searching for items in pictures (iSpy)
  • Cars, driving

With our Google Earth project in mind, Zeven asked the kids how they felt about seeing different places around the world through pictures and video. They were pretty enthusiastic, and suggested trips to places like London, Hawaii, Paris, Hollywood, Disneyworld… oh, and Coney Island!

In our first class meeting a fortnight ago, Marianne told us that kids don’t mince their words: they’ll always tell you exactly what they think. As we continue to learn about designing and coming up with ideas for people, these tough critics will give us a healthy run for our money.

As Zeven, Sindy and I left Rusk that night, we agreed upon one thing that stood out to us: the success of the projects created for Hospitable Room will rely heavily – and perhaps solely (seriously) – on our ability to create something that the kids deem enjoyable. Specifically, we need to make something that is

Which begs the question: what makes an experience “fun,” anyway? What, precisely, does it mean to experience fun? Can fun be created?

Lots of questions. Let the research begin. In the meantime, we’re still working on the Google Earth project. More on that later!

Hospitable Room: Navigating a [small] world

Zeven and I created this Processing sketch as a first step to allow users to navigate through the world. Currently, that world is a small one, comprised of a single view of Dingle, Ireland. Click on the red thumbtack on the map to navigate to that location. Move the mouse left, right, up and down on the photo to zoom in.

This version uses mouse navigation; however, once we get the wheelchair camera tracking figured out a bit further we’ll user-test with the wheelchair.