Firefly is a tagging game played in the dark that explores temporal memory, and exploits the balance of collaboration and competition. The game is designed to be played in the dark. The key component of Firefly is that player can only steal a badge when the light is OFF. This is where the exploration of temporal memory comes into play. The players can track each other while their badges are lit up but must find and steal a badge when it goes dark. The challenge is to continue to track players after the light is gone. It is this tracking that is using the same memory skills we have for remembering where we parked our car.

Firefly has been invited to game festivals in United Kingdom, Germany, Greece, United States, and The Netherlands. It has been showcased in London, UK at the  Victoria and Albert Museum, Digital Shoreditch, Science Museum and Maker Faire. See the details of Firefly game activity.

View: Firefly being played in the dark.

View: Interview about Firefly game at Digital Shoreditch.

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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.