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Myosotis Garden

Myosotis Garden – digital recreational games for the elderly and their friends and family.

Strategic Initiatives of the FHNW: Myosotis Garden

The Myosotis system helps elderly people and their friends and family communicate by means of simple yet entertaining computer games with the goal of increasing social well-being. Personal pictures and sounds from the lives of the people involved form an integral part of the game and encourage the players to tell stories and engage in social interaction.

Myosotis was originally conceived by Bettina Wegenast (Fabelfabrik GmbH) in 2015 and, together with Marco Soldati, was developed as an entertainment system as part of the Computer Sciences teaching at FHNW. The games have undergone continuous development since then and have been tested and improved in close partnership with elderly people.

The Myosotis Garden project will see other games researched and developed based on the team’s practical experience to date and drawing on scientific findings. The focus of this research will be on the games’ aesthetics. We are interested in questions such as the following: What impact do aesthetics and interaction have on a positive and long-lasting game experience? How can this be standardised? Are there any fixed design rules for cross-generational computer games?

What results and impacts are to be achieved?

Nowadays, software products for the elderly mostly meet functional requirements but often neglect aesthetic elements in the interface design. Through interdisciplinary cooperation between experts in technology, art, visual design, music and psychology, the project will develop new insights in this area with application for the future. The aim is to speak to people not just at a cognitive but also at an emotional level so that they feel that they are being taken seriously. By achieving a greater understanding of the links between aesthetics, design, interaction and technology in the context of an ageing population, the project will help build expertise in all four participating schools and be able to act as a catalyst for future projects. Our research will enable the needs of this growing group of elderly and aged people to be better addressed.

  • Objectives
    Three new games will be developed for the elderly in three project phases between 2018 and 2020. Each phase in this process will pursue a primary objective:
  • In the development phase (April to November 2018), an existing game concept will be adapted for the target group. The main focus here will be on building the team’s understanding of interdisciplinary cooperation and on expanding their network with other partners in industry, etc.
  • The experimental phase (December 2018 to September 2019) will exploratively investigate and describe the impact of various aesthetic parameters on the game experience based on several design and interaction variants. However, only one of the variants tested will be fleshed out to produce a finished game.
  • The research phase (October 2019 to September 2020) will centre on controlled studies to scientifically evaluate the impact of aesthetics on the game. In this phase, another game will be designed and implemented.

Putting it into practice
As the games are then made ready for real-world use, they will be prepared in such a way as to make them available to the general public for the longer term, for example in the App Store.


What will be different about the interdisciplinary cooperation on the project?

From a disciplinary point of view, it does not make any sense to specify, let alone answer, the question of how the Myosotis games can be designed and used expediently. In any case, developing computer games is already an interdisciplinary pursuit. Technology, creativity, design, art, music and psychology mutually benefit from one another and it is only when they work in harmony that they can achieve the best results. Working together to develop a game encourages all partners to maintain a dialogue at all times, while regular tests with partners in industry, etc. incorporate additional feedback from external players into the process.


Prof. Dr. André Csillaghy
Prof. Dr. André Csillaghy Leiter Institut für Data Science FHNW
Telephone : +41 56 202 76 85 (direct)
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