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Source: MIDAS website. http://midas.ioe.ac.uk/

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to go the Festival of Research Methods in Oxford and I was very busy trying to find out what sessions to go. Unfortunately I couldn’t go to the MIDAS session and now I know that I missed a very lovely part of it. However, I had the chance to follow some tweets and enter into their website to know more. This post will give a brief explanation of the MIDAS project and why you should fall in love with it too.

Well, if you are researcher in the area of arts, design and social sciences you will love this. Imagine if you could combine innovative methods, experiences, interactive 3D environments to study arts, museums, disabilities, security and so on. That’s MIDAS and it can be gold and I’m not the only one with the same opinion.

 

Essentially, this is a project that investigates methods used in research in arts and social science. MIDAS encompasses visual and contextual resources, based on people’s everyday tasks, through interdisciplinary methods. For that, the investigators decided to analyse 6 ethnographic case studies in arts and social sciences, including aspects of embodied learning experiences, virtual environments, simulation, digital fashion, experience design and other digital resources.

Why this is important?

For researchers in arts and design, MIDAS can be very useful. For example, the project focuses in the combination of body (physical interactions), digital and methods (practices and applications), through something that they call as synergy. Curiously, this is a very innovative way to conduct research and could be also combined to games. They are already using simulations to gather data. :)

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Source: Xambo, Jewitt and Price, 2014

For example, a paper published this year at the CHI2014 conference, reflects the new methodological approach proposed by the researchers of MIDAS. The main concept of it is to understand research embodiment in HCI, which could be divided in to two elements: embodied interaction (e.g. tangible and social computing) and embodied cognition (e.g. the representation of physical experience into abstract situations) (Xambo, Jewitt and Price 2014). The integration of methods provided a wider concept of how the body reacts in terms of interaction and included sensory experiences as tangible materials, textures and so on.

Another example of MIDAS in practice is the development of games of hospitalised children, combining physical, digital play. The project basically integrates interdisciplinary researchers and innovate hospital play, simulating experiences, imaginations and creativity, in order to help children’s recovery. That’s beautiful!

So, no way research methods can be boring. They can be a real passion. And here we go! Time to innovate! :) Thanks, MIDAS!

If you want to know more, read here:
AHRC VideogamesNetwork: Developing videogames and play for hospitalised children
MIDAS at CHI2014
Physical & digital play, developing games for hospitalised children
MIDAS: Case Studies

 
photo credit: intermediae knowledge plan via photopin (license)

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