Towards sylvan games: Exploring playful forest-technology interactions

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This paper presents a study based on research through design, exploring the potentials of the intersection between human play, forests, and technology. Building on the existing literature on urban games, we introduce the idea of sylvan games which focus on deepening the relations between players and natural spaces. We designed two different games, Sensor Hunt and Pathmaker, focusing on different dimensions of navigation and technologies. Fourteen participants played the games while quantitative and qualitative data was collected using pre and post gameplay surveys, open questions, and drawings. A hybrid thematic analysis approach was employed to analyse the data and four themes were identified: the game, the technologies, the forest, and the participants’ emotions. The emotional influences of the games were further explored using PANAS and text analysis. We discuss these results and suggest a list of design considerations for future sylvan games based on our findings.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 7th International GamiFIN Conference 2023 (GamiFIN 2023)
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
EventGamiFIN Conference - , Finland
Duration: 18 Apr 202321 Apr 2023

Publication series

NameCEUR Workshop Proceedings
ISSN (Electronic)1613-0073


ConferenceGamiFIN Conference


  • forest games
  • Gamification
  • location-based games
  • play in the wild
  • sustainability

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science


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