- About the project- Pedagogical background- The game - Workshops - Collaboration -

About the project:

ChildrenĀ“s and teenagers' reading and writing skills are constantly deteriorating. The purpose of the Tarinatalo (in English House of Stories) -project is to offer an interesting solution and create a virtual learning environment where children and young people can develop their reading and writing skills through games.

The goal of the Tarinatalo -project is to support children's and young people's writing skills inspired by technology and to create multidisciplinary technology by combining different fields of science, such as Finnish, education, and information processing sciences, especially Human (Child) Computer Interaction.

The project is a collaborative project between sciences, which combines educational expertise and technological design skills. The University of Lapland focuses on the pedagogical background and the University of Oulu on technological competence and user experience.

See the whole project timeline here in more details.

Pedagogical background:

The game is implemented according to pedagogical principles. These goals arise from previous research on writing teaching and games and from the pilot games of the Play, invent, and write (Pelaa, keksi ja kirjoita) project. The goal is to implement these principles in the design and coding of the game.

The pedagogical principles are:

  • Supporting community and interaction
  • Building agency
  • Supporting ideation and narrative (depending on the task and genre) as well as critical literacy
  • Utilizing immersion, the allure of games and play, simulation
  • Seeking diverse pedagogical usability

The House of Stories -game:

The first version of the game is aimed at 8th graders, but the intention is to expand later on the game to other grade levels as well.

Workshops with schools:

As an essential part of the project, participatory design workshops are conducted in collaboration with schools, where secondary school students participate in game development. A total of 10 workshops are organized during the project, including activities such as:

  • Creating background stories for the game through writing and crafting
  • Ideating key elements of the game.
  • Testing game components and the entire game at various stages of development.
  • Evaluating the game


This project brings together collaborators from different fields of science:

  • University of Lapland: Pedagogical background
  • University of Oulu, INTERACT: Participatory design with children, workshops with schools
  • University of Oulu, OASIS: Game development
  • Oulu University of Applied Sciences (OAMK): Coding and graphical design