Interactive playground game for asthmatic childern

This is a design research project. To encourage asthmatic children to do more physical activities, we designed and developed an interactive playground game to create an immersive and fun playing experience.

Deliberables: project report, final presentation

Sep.2016 - Feb.2017

Enschede, Netherland

My role:

User research

Usability testing

Asthmatic children

Asthma is the most common chronic disease in children worldwide, and its prevalence, morbidity, mortality and economic burden have been rising in most countries for the past 4 decades. In the Netherlands there are over 70,000 children suffering from Asthma. Asthmatic children often do not engage in enough physical activities.

Why do asthmatic children lack physical activities

We interviewed asthma doctors and two adults who have asthma when they are young kids. We found the reasons that discourage asthmatic children to do physical activities, including:

  1. The negative attitude
  2. Fear of asthma
  3. Embarrassment
  4. Video games
  5. Less intensive role


To help asthmatic children do physical activities, we designed an immersive fun game based on the interactive playground. We want to encourage asthmatic children to play with other children and forget their disease in this immersive game experience.

Game concept: the tagging game divides players into the blue team and the red team, each team should catch the other team to win the game. The blue player can catch the red player by drawing a closed cricle with his tail. The red player can catch the blue player by tapping on the blue player after collecting enough coins.


The game is implemented with Unity based on a small interactive playground at the University of Twente. We first tested the idea with papers on the grass. When paper testing was passed, we implemented the game on real interactive playground.

First & second evaluations

We conducted two rounds evaluation with children from 7 to 9. Then we interviewed the children.

In general, the AIR PLAY game is fun and engaging for children. It’s helpful for stimulating physical activity during the game.

Overall Learning

  1. It's hard for children to tell what they really fear or want.
  2. Group interview is better for interviewing children
  3. Fun game is attractive to children