University of Skövde

Interactive board game “Hidden in the Zoo”

Researchers at the University of Skövde have developed an interactive board game for primary school children. “Hidden in the Zoo” is a physical board game incorporating augmented reality and played on a tablet. The game is based on a classic treasure hunt with a zoo theme, where each player hides a treasure in the zoo, and there are clues to help them find the hidden treasure. The players have to keep the clues safe so that no one else can find the treasure. The game also allows the players to chat and decide whether or not they want to reveal any clues.

The developers at the University of Skövde had access to authentic chat logs from websites where children were contacted by strangers seeking sexual communication, which is unique. While the chat logs have been used to create game events, the actual game does not contain any scary or inappropriate content. However, the game events create a basis for follow-up discussions to raise children’s awareness of the dangers of the internet. These discussions are led by a teacher or an educator. A prototype of the game has been tested on children with positive results.

Funding from Childhood is being used to complete “Hidden in the Zoo” and for research into how the game can be used in the classroom. The goal is that the game can be used in schools, together with teacher-led classroom discussion.