An industrial placement by Pollie Barden. There is an increasing desire for individuals to connect through computer-mediated communication. In particular, there is a growing trend of applications aspiring to support social presence in social and leisure settings. Ultimately the aim is to recreate and re- imagine something everyday, just eating with others, a social communion. Something that is for everyone to be shared with anyone. The study explored the opportunities for social presence around the practices of a dinner party. The results highlight implications for designing social structure as the main contributor to social presence rather than the technology platform.

Telematic Dinner Party Video documentation:

TDP 1 – Disembodied projection – Telenoika and Furtherfield
Latitudinal Cuisine: Alex Haw’s response
Furtherfield: Ruth Catlow’s response
TDP 2 – Mobile-to-Mobile Dinner Party – ITP Camp, NYC and Furtherfield
TDP 3 – A set of four telematic dinner parties at Culture Lab, Newcastle University, UK – download PDF of DIS ’12 paper or SIGGRAPH ’12 poster abstract.

Find out more at:

Pollie Barden is a PhD Researcher QMUL's Cognitive Science research group. She is an artist, technologist, and game designer. She has run her games in festivals and presented her art in galleries and museums all over the globe. For nine years, Pollie has been engaging people with disabilities, teens and older people with technology with an aim to increase the opportunities to be involved in the open source community building. She has taught at various universities in US and UK. She co-founded and co-designed snagu, photo scavenger hunt game, that was a 2006 mtvU Digital Incubator Award winner. In 2011, she was one of the six co-founders of G.Hack, a women's technology club, that supports QMUL women in learning and sharing technology skills. With Furtherfield, a technology arts organization in London, UK and Culture Lab at Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK she ran a research project on Telematic Dinner Parties which explored the intersection of distance, food, dinning and games as influences on social presence in technology mediated social events. Her current research is in how gameplay and technology can ease to adoption of digital technology usage for older people.

Current research topic: Connecting Isolated Older People across Distance through Gameplay and Technology

Games have been used as a tool to introduce older people to digital technology. Here we are developing a gameful system to facilitate the social interactions between older people and young adults in an intergeneration community run club. We aim to ease the integration of digital tools through gameplay for older generations. Our research is about both the meaningful integration older people in the digital age and laying the groundwork for our future selves as older people. We hope to be able to learn and share strategizes for game designer, researchers and participants in the development of our emerging gameplay based society. We are designing for our future selves.