As in previous editions of IDC, the general goals of the 2010 conference will be to better understand children's needs, and how to design for them, by presenting and discussing the most innovative research in the field of interaction design for children, by exhibiting the most recent developments in design and design methodologies, and by gathering the leading minds in the field of interaction design for children.
In this specific edition we would like to promote specially the field of full-body interaction. According to health organizations, the current generations of children in the developed world will be the first to have a decrease in life expectancy with respect to our generation of middle-aged adults. One of the causes for this is the lack of physical activity (PA) of contemporary children. The European Commission is especially worried about the rate of incidence of this lack of PA in European countries and is already defining policies and actions to try to compensate for this public health issue. Moreover, this lack of PA also carries the collateral effect of lack of social activity.
Some studies have concluded that one of the main causes for this lack of PA is the intensive use of video-games on PC and consoles, the Internet, chats, social networks, etc. This does not mean these technologies are unhealthy for our children per se, but uncontrolled use of these can lead to unhealthy sedentary lifestyles. On the other hand, it would be absolutely unreasonable to define policies to ban these technologies from our children being already a very important part of their culture.
It is therefore one of the duties of our interaction design and children community to find solutions that compensate for this lack of physical and social activity. Full-body, or embodied, interaction may be one solution by finding ways to converge interactive technologies with full-body activity from, for example, playground structures, sports, etc. Or by defining completely new full-body interactive experiences that may enhance PA in our children while allowing them to play with their contemporary media.
Therefore, the very specific topic we propose to emphasize in IDC2010 will be:
"Full-body Interaction for Children.
To enhance physical, mental and social well-being of Children"
In other words, interactive experiences that are conceived for full-body action. The difference of attitude, activities, socialization potential, collaboration opportunities, physical exercise, etc., that such interactive experiences provide with respect to desktop applications make them well worth the interest they generate. However, this is a somewhat unexplored field and it is important to give it a drive forward. Hopefully we will obtain healthier experiences for children through interactive media.