Playing remote tabletop games is a fun way to connect with distant friends. Yet most systems for remote tabletop gaming lack support for tangible and social interaction, two important aspects of gameplay for most players. I am interested in how to better design systems for remote tangible gameplay that support social connection. I investigate this topic through the design and evaluation of a prototype system for playing the board game Wavelength across two locations. First, I describe my design process and the design requirements that informed my prototype: "Remote Wavelength". Then, I discuss the results of a qualitative user study in which ten friend groups played Remote Wavelength. My findings indicate that a synchronized, tangible gameboard benefits player engagement, communication, and awareness. My results also illustrate the value of integration across communication and gameplay systems. I conclude by offering considerations for the design of both digital and tangible remote gameplay systems.
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Thesis advisor: Neustaedter, Carman
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