Building an Argument for the Use of Science Fiction in HCI Education

Philipp Jordan, Paula Alexandra Silva

Science fiction literature, comics, cartoons and, in particular, audio-visual materials, such as science fiction movies and shows, can be a valuable addition in Human-computer interaction (HCI) Education. In this paper, we present an overview of research relative to future directions in HCI Education, distinct crossings of science fiction in HCI and Computer Science teaching and the Framework for 21st Century Learning. Next, we provide examples where science fiction can add to the future of HCI Education. In particular, we argue herein first that science fiction, as tangible and intangible cultural artifact, can serve as a trigger for creativity and innovation and thus, support us in exploring the design space. Second, science fiction, as a means to analyze yet-to-come HCI technologies, can assist us in developing an open-minded and reflective dialogue about technological futures, thus creating a singular base for critical thinking and problem solving. Provided that one is cognizant of its potential and limitations, we reason that science fiction can be a meaningful extension of selected aspects of HCI curricula and research.

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