Learning through interactive artifacts: Personal fabrication using electrochromic displays to remember Atari women programmers

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In recent years makerspaces have gained traction as an environment where makers and tinkerers can freely create artefacts with digital fabrication tools. They are particularly suited for introducing new fabrication techniques because these spaces support hands-on experiences. Electrochromic displays are one such technology that has become possible to fabricate using new techniques and off-the-shelf tools which lends itself to be used in a workshop setting. Leveraging this development, we facilitated a makerspace workshop that introduced participants to this new technology. To limit the scope of the workshop outcome we used the little known history of female developers of video games (Atari) from the 1970s and 1980s as a design framing. The participants (undergraduates, 16 female, 2 male, aged 19–21 years) explored the Atari women's role in development and through this exploration they created artifacts using novel electrochromic displays as designed responses. Throughout the workshop participants answered daily questionnaires and kept records of their progress. Our analysis of the questionnaires and the resulting projects suggests that having a relatable and meaningful context increases both motivation and engagement of the participants. We discuss the extrinsic motivations that enhance engagement, and provide suggestions for introducing new technologies in the makerspace context.

TidsskriftEntertainment Computing
Sider (fra-til)1-13
StatusUdgivet - 2022

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