Project Overview

This research involved the creation of a collaborative learning game called Futura: The Sustainable Futures Game, which is implemented on a custom multi-touch digital tabletop platform. The design-oriented research goal of the project is to explore the novel design space of collaborative, multi-touch tabletop games for learning.

Expertise in learning theory, pedagogy and child development is needed to make certain that the game is appropriate to the learning styles and capabilities of the intended audience.

Game design expertise ensures the game is intrinsically pleasurable to play. The dynamics of systems of play includes player motivation, rewards, reinforcement schedules, and feedback.

Knowledge of the specific subject domain around which the game’s learning outcomes are structured is necessary to ensure that the game does not misrepresent the subject matter.

Venues & Events


February 12-28, 2010 @ Holland Park, Surrey 

Futura spent the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics at 2010 Sustainable Way in the Sustainabilty Zone at Surrey’s Holland Park.


March 10, 2010 @ UBC 

Futura made an appearance at UBC’s Social Mobilisation for Climate Solutions Research event, entitled “Making Global Warming Unacceptable: From Perceptions to Social Action".


March 4, 2010 @ SFU Surrey Campus – http://www.surrey.sfu.ca/openhouse

Futura was displayed at Simon Fraser University Surrey’s annual Open House on Thursday March 4, 2010 from 4:30pm-8:30pm.


  • Alissa N. Antle: Research, Project and Design Lead
  • Theresa Jean Tanenbaum, Game Designer
  • Katie Seaborn, Artist and UI Designer
  • Karen Tanenbaum, Game Designer
  • Allen Bevans, UI Designer
  • Sijie Wang, Programmer


Alissa, N. Antle, Allen Bevans, Theresa Jean Tanenbaum, Katie Seaborn, and Sijie Wang. 2011. Futura: Design for collaborative learning and game play on a multi-touch digital tabletop. In Proceedings of Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI’11). ACM, 93-100. [32% across all submission categories, 18% long papers]

Speelpenning, Tess, Alissa N. Antle, Tanja Doering, and Elise Van Den Hoven. 2011. Exploring how tangible tools enable collaboration in a multi-touch tabletop game. In IFIP Conference on Human-Computer Interaction INTERACT 2011. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 605-621.

Antle, Alissa N., Theresa Jean Tanenbaum, Allen Bevans, Katie Seaborn, and Sijie Wang. 2011. Balancing act: Enabling public engagement with sustainability issues through a multi-touch tabletop collaborative game. In IFIP Conference on Human-Computer Interaction. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg,194-211.

Theresa Jean Tanenbaum, Alissa N. Antle, Katie Seaborn, Karen Tanenbaum, Allen Bevans, and Sijie Wang. 2010. Futura: Designing multi-touch tabletop games for sustainability. In GRAND Annual Conference 2010. 93-100.

Theresa Jean Tanenbaum, Alissa N. Antle, Katie Seaborn, Karen Tanenbaum, Allen Bevans, and Sijie Wang. 2010. Futura: A case study in the design of an educational multi-touch tabletop game. In Proceedings of Games, Learning and Society Conference. 97-104.