Designing play to support hospitalized children

Ruth Sancho Huerga, Jennifer Lade, Florian 'Floyd' Mueller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Play as a form of complementary care is increasingly considered to support sick children with their hospital experience. Prior work around digital play is mostly focusing on distracting the child from the hospital experience. In contrast, we propose an alternative approach. We seek to engage the children with the hospital experience through play that utilizes the hospital environment and materials. We present findings from two hospital play workshops with 23 children with severe diseases. Based on these findings, we derive four lenses (reframing, ownership, privilege, body) through which researchers can examine these types of play experiences. We then use these lenses to articulate six practical strategies to aid designers in developing play that supports hospitalized children. Ultimately, our work extends our understanding of how play can be designed as a form of complementary care.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2016 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play
EditorsRegan Mandryk, Paul Cairns
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781450344562
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
EventACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play 2016 - Austin, United States of America
Duration: 16 Oct 201619 Oct 2016
Conference number: 3rd


ConferenceACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play 2016
Abbreviated titleCHI PLAY 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
Internet address


  • Children
  • Complementary care
  • Games
  • Hospital
  • Play

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