Early adolescence is a time of major social change; a strong sense of belonging (SB) and peer connectedness is an essential protective factor in mental health (MH) during that period. In this paper we introduce LINA, an augmented reality (AR) smartphone-based serious game played in school by an entire class (age 10+) together with their teacher, which aims to facilitate and improve peer interaction, SB and class climate, while creating a safe space to reflect on MH and external stressors related to family circumstance. LINA was developed through an interdisciplinary collaboration involving a playwright, software developers, psychologists and artists, via an iterative co-development process with young people. A prototype has been evaluated quantitatively for usability and qualitatively for efficacy in a study with 91 early adolescents (agemean=11.41). Results from the Game User Experience Satisfaction Scale (GUESS-18) and data from qualitative focus groups showed high acceptability and preliminary efficacy of the game. Using AR, a shared immersive narrative and collaborative gameplay in a shared physical space offers an opportunity to harness adolescent affinity for digital technology towards improving real-world social connection and SB.
|Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
|Published - 29 Oct 2022