15:00 - 16:40
Session: S54
[Health Learning] + Design
Lunar Land: Investigating the Effects of Simulation and Play in Daily Context on Family Functioning
Behaviour Change; Simulation; Play; Mobile Overuse; Family Functioning
Kenny CHOW, Benny Ding C.H. LEONG, Brian Yu Hin LEE, Elda Mei-Lo CHAN, Vanice Wing Yan CHAN

The increasingly overuse of mobile or screen-based products has raised concerns in society. Family, originally a psychosocial support for addiction prevention or treatment, can be weakened in its functioning due to individual members’ over-concentration on the personal addictive devices. In the core of the digital addiction lie simulation and play, which can be repurposed to intervene for more positive family interactions and perceptions. We argue that with always-on sensing and data-driven visualization technologies, interactive tangible artifacts can be designed to detect family members’ use of mobile phones, present simulations that prompt their physical engagements, and hopefully enhance family functioning. This paper presents Lunar Land, which is a smart lamp with its “face” simulating from the crescent to the full moon, when family members put down their phones and take daily-life playful challenges together. Field trials of Lunar Land involved families having the working prototype installed at home for weeks. Usage was automatically logged. Pre- and post-trial surveys were conducted. Families using Lunar Land both for charging phones and taking playful challenges reported higher increase in family time and relationship satisfaction. They also showed higher increase in general family functioning measured by instrument, and more obviously linking the concept of togetherness and “light up.” Results suggest that experiencing simulated outcomes of pausing phone use may assist positive perception of the family. Having the members playing together further enhances the positive perception, because the processes render the positive action-outcome link, from pausing phone use and playing together to joy, cognitively accessible.