PlayGen, with the help of the other 8 members of the ProsocialLearn consortium, have designed and developed a simple game called Candy Quest; with the intention of observing children’s natural tendency towards fairness and generosity. The long-term aim of the project is to develop a series of reusable assets and delivery platform for game designers to incorporate prosocial behaviour such as empathy, cooperation, fairness and generosity into games that can be delivered in schools. However at this early stage, we are interested in ascertaining whether or not our proposed technologies are viable in the real world context i.e. we can use these to succinctly measure prosocial intent and behaviour in children.
The game has been recently updated so as to be more visually appealing, in keeping with the target audience of children, whilst maintaining overall neutrality.
The result is Candy Quest, a technicolour delight, featuring the adorable “Kitty King” who guides the user through game-play as they play anonymously against classmates; clicking to collect cascades of delectable sweet treats and then choosing whether or not to share their bounty with the other player.
The other player then may pass judgement over whether they thought the share offer was fair or not, after which both players use the webcam to describe how they felt about the interaction. At present there is no indication of what constitutes a positive or negative stance, although this will be developed further in the project.
For now we hope to generate scientific data on natural behaviour of primary school-age children between 7 to 10 years old, such that we can inform the further design and development of the project.
Candy Quest is currently available in 5 different languages – English, Spanish, Italian, Greek and Swedish, in keeping with the native languages of the ProsocialLearn consortium. Gameplay is simple and easy to follow, making it suitable for a broad spectrum of ages. In this way, it is ready to be tested across a number of different countries, incorporating a wide range of school children, therefore allowing for an extensive test group that should generate a large number of usable results.
You can try Candy Quest for yourself, although you will need at least 2 players on two computers to play it, try it for free, at candyquest.playgen.com – let us know what you think, by writing to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with suggestions of how the game could be used in the classroom to encourage students to think about their decisions on fairness and generosity and how you may use it.