Sustaining cultures of participation by fostering computational thinking skills through game-play

Daniela Fogli, Federico Danesi, Alessio Malizia, Tommaso Turchi, David Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The adoption of a meta-design approach to system development opens up opportunities for transforming consumer cultures to cultures of participation. To this end, meta-design must create the conditions for such participation by supporting end users to appropriate the design skills necessary for system evolution, especially those related to Computational Thinking (CT), in new and engaging modalities. In this paper, we propose a novel approach to fostering CT skills that combines Game-Play learning with Tangible User Interfaces and Virtual Reality (VR). In the resulting system, called TAPASPlay, two players act as alchemists forging swords and shields to fight each other. They build them through a puzzle-based interaction with a tabletop interface, using smartphones as tangible objects. Finally, the players can enjoy the battle in VR using Google Cardboards. In this way, players can develop analysis, abstraction and problem solving abilities, i.e. suitable CT skills for meta-design and supporting cultures of participation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCEUR Workshop Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Computational thinking
  • End-user development
  • Game-based learning
  • Meta-design
  • Tangible interaction


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