Designing games for learning at the EMC


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Intro presentation for NEASC conference describing games for learning illustrated through two EMC projects: BREAKAWAY for the United Nations, and two Cystic Fibrosis games Ludicross and Creep Frontier

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  • Inclusion, safety
  • Skill-based Behavior change
  • Most programs focus on victims. Yet the UN has identified VAW as a key driver of worldwide poverty. So we took a different tack - our goal is to change the attitudes & behavior of men and boys. Its designed to educate during critical social development years from 9-14 years old.
  • Experiential learning
  • The solution is also depending on a behavioral methodology proven to be effective when used in a linear format of radio & video
  • The project brought forward some HUGE challenges to concept & development: How do you create a first person game that is meant to appeal to EVERY boy in the world?
  • Specifically our challenges mostly centered on storytelling, player choice, distribution, & asset management
  • The team’s solution is web delivered soccer game — most popular sport worldwide and with national teams in more countries than the UN is in. In our game, BREAKAWAY, the issue of violence against women is never explicitly conveyed & it does not demand the boys to take on adult violence. In fact to the boys, our players, the theme is soccer. Created for global distribution release the first chapter of BREAKAWAY launched with the World Cup in 2010. International soccer star, Samuel Eto’o is the game’s spokesperson and a walk-on character in the game!
  • BREAKAWAY is based on the age old dilemma of peer pressure - who do you side with & who will hang out with you? The game system is based on an interactive narrative and a series of skill-building mini-games (shooting, defending, tackling). Choices in these determine you and your teams’ chances at winning the longer play soccer matches. As the player, you make choices on how to treat the girls in the narrative. These decisions determine which team mates you practice with and therefore what soccer skills you learn from various team mates. Literally you can not win if you do not become a champion for the girls in the narrative.
  • Our target market enjoys the game!
  • Designing games for learning at the EMC

    1. 1. Designing Games for LearningAnn DeMarle Artwork: Champlain alumni Dan PeaveyAssociate Professor, Champlain CollegeEmail: demarle@champlain.eduWeb:
    2. 2. Experience:•  Founder, current director Emergent Media Center•  Founder, current director MFA in Emergent Media•  Founder of Game Development degrees•  Founder, director Governor’s Institute of VT in Info Tech
    3. 3. 1.  Build games for learningEmergent Media Center @ Champlain College 2.  Students learn collaboratively creating games
    4. 4. Motivation, Attention, Working Memory & LearningWhy Games?Designed forEngagement.Key Concepts:1.  Magic Circle2.  Flow Image:
    5. 5. The Magic CircleJohan Huizinga (1872–1945)."Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture Boundaries
    6. 6. The Magic CircleJohan Huizinga (1872–1945)."Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture Individual Choice RulesEmpowerment Multiple Pathways Feedback Systems
    7. 7. FlowProposed by Mihály CsíkszentmihályiThe mental state of operation inwhich a person in an activity is fullyimmersed in a feeling of energizedfocus, full involvement, and successin the process of the activity.
    8. 8. Magic Circle, Flow, & Learning Choice • Exploratory & experiential • Try on differing roles • Creative expression • Borderless community Rules • Well ordered problems • Cause & effect Mastery Pathways • Cycle of expertise/mastery • No failure • Player has a story to tell Feedback • On demand & in-time learning • Cause & effect • Virtual presence
    9. 9. Skill-based—Cystic Fibrosis games: Ludicross & Creep FrontierBehavior change—Game to address violence against women: BREAKAWAY
    10. 10. Cystic Fibrosis games•  Collaboration with Dr. Peter Bingham on Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant•  Ten students working in two teams•  1 1/2 years. Initial research with young patients•  Questions: •  Can games improve patient compliance? •  Can games improve lung capacity?
    11. 11. Poster Nicole Lazzaro: Lazzaro’s theory of theFour Keys of motivation.•  Easy Fun—curiosity, creativity, exploration•  Hard Fun—challenge, goals, mastery Top: Creep Frontier—ex. Easy Fun Bottom: Ludicross—ex. Hard Fun
    12. 12. Cystic Fibrosis GamesResults•  Subjects spent more minutes using Game than Control.•  When effect of game period was adjusted for by covariates, there was a trend relating the game period to improved pulmonary function.•  Game period had a significant effect on vital capacity, stronger still after adjustment for covariates. nu=PAS11L1_3660
    13. 13. BREAKAWAY•  Sponsored by the United Nations Population Fund•  Collaboration with Population Media Center•  Three years—ongoing. Over 120 students•  Initial research in South Africa•  Testing in South Africa, Caribbean, Vermont, & online
    14. 14. Project Goal:Social Change1.  Awareness of Problem2.  Acknowledgement of Personal Accountability3.  Attitude & Behavior Change4.  Advocacy for Change
    15. 15. Games for Social ChangeExperiential Learning•  Identification with characters•  Role playing real life situations: Player becomes the Transitional Character•  Critical thinking: Interactivity leads to decision-making•  Player experiences cause & effect•  Reflection & storytelling
    16. 16. Sabido Methodology•  Entertainment Education•  Social Change•  Role Modeling: •  Positive •  Negative •  Transitional•  Narrative 70/30 rule
    17. 17. Challenges: Storytelling, PlayerChoice & Asset Management•  Technology—delivery system•  Universal story—theme•  Setting—could this be every boy’s home turf?•  Language & localization •  Ethnicity — stereotypes •  Clothing — religion—cool factor •  Romantic or sexual implications•  Portrayal of girls: victim, subjugation or strong women•  Portrayal of violent actions•  PR
    18. 18. Results2000 CDs distributed.750+ CDs to youth groupsparticipating at the 2010 WorldCup:• Grassroots Soccer• Ikamva Youth• ManUp Campaign• Streetfootballworld• Restless Development• Fundacion Privada Samuel Eto’o
    19. 19. ResultsWeb site:• 178 countries• 11,710 unique visitorsOnline Game:• 143 countries• 2070 registered users• 52% under 18• 65% are boys ages 10-16• Play through& repeatedly (6 hrs/chapter)• 89% saved with positive decisions
    20. 20. Next Steps•  UN: distribution of CDs worldwide•  UN Marketing—getting the word out & the online game into the hands of more youth•  Facilitators guide: for teachers, youth groups, soccer clubs, etc.•  Impact Assessment•  Mobile game
    21. 21. Designing Games for LearningAnn DeMarle Artwork: Champlain alumni Dan PeaveyAssociate Professor, Champlain CollegeEmail: demarle@champlain.eduWeb: