Memories-to-go: A remote interactive experience for parents and their overseas adolescent children

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Yawen ChangWei- Chi Chien

Abstract: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people haven’t returned to their hometowns for several years. It also makes people pay more attention to long-distance interaction. Online meeting platforms these days expand their function beyond just face-to-face meeting but also uses virtual space to make them more interactive. More and more platforms provide a proximity video chat. People can walk in and out of conversations in their avatars. That makes people feel natural and seamless in virtual space.As a place preserved the lifestyle of local people, we found the traditional market is a meaningful place that reminds people of their hometowns. Most people have the experience going to the market with their family in their childhood. Thus, this study focuses on the parent-child memory in the market. By collecting the information of people’s memories, making them into Gather town, it provides remote interactive experiences for parents and their overseas adolescent children uniquely. Memories-To-Gather is a Gather Town space that makes people to experience the traditional market. Not just visiting an online market, but to bring the memorable time to their mind. Offering the possible solution for recalling memorable moments is based on the scene transition in virtual place. By collecting and integrating the stories of the participants, we transform these stories into scenes. Guided by the map, participants complete the tasks and slowly unravel the story line. Memories-To-Gather is designed for people to remind those family times in the market with elements of play, experimentation, and collaboration in the digital environment. There are two main research questions for this study:1. What kinds of parent-child interactions in the market are meaningful and worth discussing?2. How does a remote interactive experience trigger people’s memory and emotion?To answer these questions, we started a series of interviews to collect people’s memories in the market with their family. Participants are prompted to share their memorable moments when they went to the market with family via describing and drawing. Through field research, we also entered the market, which allowed us to better understand place and atmosphere in reality of the market, then report it based on our experiences. At the end of the research, we invited five pairs of overseas students and their parents to take part in the Memories-To-Gather in Gather Town’s experience and conducted interviews after the experience. Based on the analysis of our interview, we got the following conclusions: Gather town is an user-friendly tool which is easier to operate and get started. The 2D pixel style has a retro style and makes people feel they are brought back to the past. Memories-To-Gather breaks the barriers of space and distance, the collaboration in the platform enhances long-distance interactions within family members. The local style in the scene, story development and character interaction remind them of the experience in their hometowns. It triggers memories for young people in these days and change the perspective of traditional market. Memories-To-Gather provides a place of peace of mind, it helps people find comfort in this era of uncertainty. In the future research, we’re expecting that remote interactive experience will be more widely used in education or other fields. After the study, we are looking forward to seeing traditional market as more than shopping, but a place where culture and memories are preserved for younger generation as well.

Keywords: remote interaction, experience design, storytelling, metaverse, cultural design

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1003927

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