Read Our World Digitally (R.O.W.Di)

Place: CMU HCIIPittsburgh, USA & DA-IICTGandhinagar, India
Year: Jan ’11 – Jul ’12
Role: Project Manager, Developer, Designer, Researcher
Mentor: Matthew Kam
Technology, Language or Script used: OpenNINITEUnity 3D, Javascript, Objective C

Imagine a virtual world where you play as a protagonist of a book and now imagine this as your way of everyday learning. The project tries to combine intuitive full-body gestures with the learning curve of a child using some of the games we developed. It is an initiative to lower the learning curve of a student using interactive digital world as a medium.

We created motion sensing games based on Microsoft Kinect technology. The aim of these Kinect-enabled games is to help children learn or gain knowledge of a literature book through natural use of their body to play games. Kinect is a controller free, full body motion sensing gadget by Microsoft. This has been used along with a PC or laptop running Windows/Mac to play a game on the system using your own body as a controller.

This project is sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University (Pennsylvania, USA) and the hosting site is McPherson Middle School (Kansas, USA).

Use of Kinect to play a game is a good approach since the target users of this games are children in their 5th or 6th grade. Children at this age are very active and would prefer to take part in physical activities rather than having the usual method of sitting down and learning. These games take advantage of this fact and try to inculcate learning with the inclusion of full body motion gesturing. The project tries to make education more relevant through entering into their favourite field.

Till date, we have successfully completed 2 games based on the novels Kidnapped and The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

 

Screenshots of the games:
  

The project also proposes a more suitable environment to host such educational games and has undergone two dry runs till date with a major deployment coming up soon in December. Our aim is to see how useful/effective these games are when compared to the generic educational games present in the market today in terms of visualisation of the story/scenes and the overall literature/science learning objectives.

 

Here is a rough video of the game world I developed for one of the games:

Below are some scenes of the game I developed and deployment pictures of the same.

  • The main menu for the game 'Evolution of Calpurnia Tate'
  • The kidnapper vs. boy faceoff!
  • Different postures assumed by the user during play.
  • Deployment in action
  • Deployment in action
  • Children playing the keyboard version of the game during deployment
  • Children playing the keyboard version of the game during deployment