Serious Games: A Playful Approach to Reduce Usage Barriers of Innovative Public Transport Systems
Alexandra Koenig, German Aerospace Center (DLR e.V.), Jan Wegener, University of Applied Studies and Research Harz, Jan Grippenkoven, German Aerospace Center (DLR e.V.)
To improve users’ conceptual understanding of a new demand responsive transport system a serious game is developed that should improve the conceptual understanding of the mobility service, reduces usage barriers and increases the usage intention.
These days, automation, digitalization and mobile application are driving forces in the development of innovations in public transportation. Interactive digital approaches like serious games are a promising way to introduce new mobility services to the public in a contemporary manner. The trend towards a flexibilization of life- and workstyles entails a growing demand for individualized and more flexible forms of personal mobility. People no longer want to adapt their need for mobility to fixed schedules of public transport. The emergence of new mobility services that are based on reservation and payment via mobile devices, for example Car2Go (carsharing), CallaBike (bikesharing), Uber (ride sharing) or BlaBlaCar (carpooling), proves the need for demand driven mobility services. A growing flexibility can be expected to be accompanied by an increase in the inherent complexity of mobility services. This results in an increasing relevance of users’ information requirements that have to be incorporated in mobility services to enable planning and projection of routes and arrivals. An insufficient provision of information about how to use the mobility service or the absence of a transparent and understandable information environment could create usage barriers that cause a refusal of the mobility service. New mobility systems need to be systematically introduced to the prospective users. To improve users’ conceptual understanding of a new demand responsive transport system a serious game is developed by the authors. A serious game is characterized by an explicit educational purpose. The objective behind the serious game is to provide information about the operating concept of a demand responsive bus in a playful way. The underlying concept of the mobility service is introduced to the player as well as possible use cases and system constraints. To enhance knowledge about the new bus system players are put in the position of a public traffic planner. Players have the mission to plan and operate a bus system that satisfies customer needs on the one hand and meets the goal of an efficient and environmental friendly operation on the other hand. It is hypothesized that the serious game improves the conceptual understanding of the mobility service, reduces usage barriers and increases the intention to use the new bus system.
Association for European Transport