Information Systems - Theses

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    Designing digital memorials: commemorating the Black Saturday Bushfires
    Mori, Joji Cyrus ( 2015)
    Digital memorials are novel technologies used for commemorative purposes. There is a growing interest in their design amongst HCI researchers. Existing studies focus on commemorating deceased loved ones, where personal and familial remembrance is emphasised. However, there are fewer examples where digital memorials play a wider social and cultural role. Commemorating a war, terrorist attack, natural disaster or death of somebody of special significance such as a leader or even celebrity, are examples where commemoration extends beyond the personal and familial, and into broader social contexts. In these instances, it is likely that large numbers of people may wish to participate, from those with deeply personal reasons, to others with only a passing interest. This thesis examines the design of digital memorials for use in contexts where these diverse audiences come together in commemoration. This thesis presents three studies, in which commemoration following the Black Saturday bushfires was used as the setting for the research. The fires occurred in 2009 in Victoria, Australia. Asides the devastation caused to the natural environment, there were 173 fatalities and massive destruction caused to homes and other infrastructure. The first study was an exploratory study examining how people commemorated Black Saturday within the first two years after the fires. The findings extend current understandings of commemoration using technology by showing similarities between how people engage with physical and web-based memorials. The second study involved participants in fire-affected communities who were asked to generate design ideas for digital memorials to commemorate Black Saturday. The study contributed a novel craft-based approach to designing technology in the commemorative context. For the third study, a digital memorial was developed that included a website and internet-connected tablet computer app to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the fires. This technology was designed for both those within the fire-affected communities and those outside. The findings report on an evaluation of the experiences of those who engaged with the digital memorial. Selected findings from the three thesis studies are expressed as a set of five design considerations intended for future designers and researchers interested in digital memorials. These are: privacy, control and context collapse; considerations for symbolism and metaphoric representations; utilising physical locations; having sensitivity towards temporal patterns; and, designing for pace and asynchronicity.
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    Audience experience in domestic videogaming
    DOWNS, JOHN ( 2014)
    Videogames are frequently played socially, but not all participants actively play. Audience members observe gameplay, often participating and experiencing the game indirectly. While the existence of non-playing audience members has been previously acknowledged, there have been few attempts to understand what activities audience members engage in while watching videogames, or how their experience is affected by different aspects of the game and social situation. This thesis presents the first substantial body of empirical work on audience behaviour and experience in social videogaming sessions. Existing work was reviewed in a number of areas of literp.ature including the sociality of gameplay, the increasing role of physicality and physical actions in gameplay, and the role of audiences in HCI. Three studies were then conducted based on the research question: How do the sociality and physicality of videogaming sessions influence audience experience? An initial exploratory observational study (N = 6 families) examined the types of activities that audiences engage in while watching highly physical videogames in their homes. This study indicated that audience members can adopt a variety of ephemeral roles that provide them with opportunities to interact with one another, the players, and the game technology. Additionally, participants reported that the physicality of the gameplay heavily influenced their experience. The second study, a naturalistic experimental study (N = 134) consisted of a mixed-model analysis of the factors of game physicality and turn anticipation. Study 2 found that anticipation of a turn affects experience of both audience and player, and similarly found that highly physical games result in more positive audience experiences, although the relationship between physicality and experience is not straightforward. A third study, also an experiment (N = 24), examined the influence of game physicality and visual attention on audience experience within a mediated setting, and a cross-study comparison identified that there appears to be a strong interplay between social context and the experience of physicality. Overall, this thesis contributes an understanding of how sociality, physicality, and the interplay between the two can influence audience behaviour and experience. These findings can be used to inform the design of novel game and interactive experiences that incorporate physicality, turn anticipation, and opportunities for different types of participation in order to influence and enhance audience experience.