2016 Grants Challenge

CARPE LA: collaborative augmented reality play experience for families of Los Angeles

CARPE LA blends digital and physical play as teams work together to discover, collect and unlock the secrets of a fantasy world overlaid on their local neighborhood park.


Are any other organizations collaborating on this proposal?

Artifact Technologies

Please describe your project proposal.

CARPE LA is mobile experience designed to get teams of kids and adults outside to play a story-driven, location-based game in parks throughout LA. Through a series of summer events at which CARPE LA will be played, teams will collaborate to unlock the open spaces in their neighborhoods.

Which of the PLAY metrics will your proposal impact?​

Access to open space and park facilities

Number (and quality) of informal spaces for play

Number of parks with intergenerational play opportunities

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

East LA


Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to PLAY?

Research shows that intergenerational play supports language development, critical thinking, and emotional connections among families and communities. However, opportunities for people to come together for intergenerational play—experiences that are equally playful no matter your age—are often difficult to find and access.

CARPE LA: Collaborative Augmented Reality Play Experience for Families in LA’s parks has two key features that will make LA the best place to play. First, it will bring an exciting new intergenerational play experience to parks around LA, which will offer the added benefit of bringing communities together. Second, CARPE LA blends digital and physical play through augmented reality technology similar to what powered this summer’s hit game Pokemon Go!

CARPE LA will increase access to open space and park activities through gameplay events designed for participants of all ages and abilities. As a team game, play is enhanced by including players with differing abilities and ideas. And, although the game has a technological component, it is not necessary for all team members to have a mobile device to participate.

The pilot will improve the number and quality of informal spaces for play in participating neighborhoods in two ways: 1) the events - held on what we’ll call Summer Saturdays - will provide a guided model for intergenerational play offered through a story that encourages families to slow down and discover together. Our team members are experts in both design and instruction related to intergenerational play. As families and communities participate, they will learn skills for designing their own intergenerational play experiences in the park. 2) We will install beacon technology within the park to facilitate the digital aspects of the game and offer ways for the families to use their mobile devices to collect, share and unlock more opportunities within the park and beyond. The hardware does not have to be permanently installed allowing us to expand the game beyond the initial pilot sites.

The key metric we expect to impact is the number of parks with intergenerational play experiences. We see that technology has, in some ways, decreased the opportunities for true intergenerational play in parks—play in which the adults are as engaged as the children—due to the fact that adults can be always connected to work or home, even when outside playing. CARPE LA uses that same mobile technology to create a compelling, immersive play experience that blends digital technology with the types of physical and reflective play that parks encourage: running, jumping, climbing, all the way to observing, imagining and discovering. It is the best of both worlds, brought together through a compelling story and social connections.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

We will measure success of the project based on: 1) participation rates at events and 2) quality of play experiences reported by participants. We will collect the following data to determine success:

Attendance information

Number of attendees and teams

Configuration of teams (i.e. children, parents, grandparents, other community members)

Participant demographics

Zip code (to determine if they are residents of the neighborhood)




Income level

Education level

Park usage (how often do they visit their park, what activities do they do)

Technology access / usage

We will consider the pilot of CARPE LA a success if we bring together at least 10 intergenerational teams of 5 to 8 players to play at each of the four Saturday events. This relatively small number of participants is appropriate for a pilot program. From the experiences of these players, we will discover necessary adjustments and collect important information to guide us in scaling the game beyond the pilot sites to include additional parks, larger numbers of teams, and new content.

As a research lab, we are prepared to collect both quantitative and qualitative data on the experience. In addition to the attendance and demographics, researchers will observe the gameplay and conduct brief verbal surveys with participants to collect data on their experiences. Through the research, we will be able to learn more about intergenerational play and how to design and facilitate community-based experiences.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?




Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research