Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Craig Thiel 

BA [Hons] Visual Communication Design

As an aspiring designer, I am interested in UX/UI, motion graphics and interactive design. I like to include playful elements of illustration and animation in my work, and enjoy working across a broad range of mediums, while always looking to expand my skill set. In all aspects of my work, I strive to create interactive and dynamic experiences that are user-centred, while also being fun and functional. I believe working collaboratively is extremely valuable, sharing resources and skills to create better design solutions. Some of my personal interests include emerging technologies like VR/AR, PC building, 3D modelling and game design.

Project Description

Video games are one of the largest forms of entertainment today but are being overlooked or misunderstood. Parents can often be uninvolved and children are uninformed. There is no definitive resource that provides a way to be introduced to video games. The process is often through trial and error. Researching video games that are constructive or have a positive impact can be done, but takes some time, while parents do not have that time or interest to research, and pass games on to their children. This is where the first problem lies, Children and young adults are often playing what is popular, which is not the best experience gaming can offer. Good Games is there to help parents quickly research games that suit what they want their children to engage in. Video games also have a negative stigma around them and are overlooked as a "good" form of entertainment. Good Games highlights the positives of the video game experience and provides a first touching point on changing the perception of the medium.

Thesis Title

Serious Games.
The positive and immersive power of video games. In my thesis, I explore how video games can have a positive impact on their users, outlining the benefits of a targeted experience, and video game's ability to explore a wide range of subjects that have the potential to entertain and educate. In furthering my research from my thesis, I have found that most parents today are well informed of the technological impact that all screen-based mediums have on themselves and their children. Organisations like CyberSafe Ireland have created a great system to educate and highlight the importance of screen time management. Meaning, parents put systems and plans into place to manage their child's time on screens. A scheduled time of the day where a phone or tablet is allowed to be used. I have found that parents are good at the management of screen usage per day but there is a lack of direction in how it's used. In the context of games, children are playing the same repetitive games that are popular, for their screen time. This is where parents take a step back and consider it managed, there is less of a negative impact because they are only playing for a small amount of time. I feel that if a parent wants to be more involved and get more out of their children's screen time a more focused approach would be hugely beneficial. Playing games that have a story, lessons to be learned or simply a bonding moment to play games together instead of a separate activity.