The University of Southampton IT Innovation Centre is developing The Chase, a cooperative game that teaches children the value of cooperating to fulfill a common goal and how by helping others everyone can benefit.
An early version of the game is being evaluated by ProsocialLearn consortium partners to assess that the narrative, usability, interaction and communication is optimised for teaching 7-10 year old children about prosocial skills. The outcome of the evaluation will be used to define a lesson plan for teachers considering prosocial pedagogies and gamification technologies, as well as to chose the target school environment in preparation for trials within European schools later this year.
The Chase game builds on key elements of the ProsocialLearn platform. The ProsocialLearn Game Event Monitoring Service (GEMS) is used to monitor real-time game event data (e.g. in-game player interaction and identified emotions). The data is stored in a knowledge base that underpins student performance tracking and teacher support tools.
The game also uses ProsocialLearn’s Voice Acquisition System (VAS) that is part of a richer voice channel manager and allows voice recording and includes a time-stamp and several identifiers (e.g. the user ID) for characterising the stream. The voice channel allows the players to chat within the game and explore different cooperation strategies.
In the future, the voice channel will be analysed to acquire prosocial indicators, for example extracting emotion from voice. The VAS is also used by other games such as Candy Quest. The Chase will be used to test fundamental platform components.
The next release of The Chase is slated for March 2016 and will include the following features:
• Updated narrative including player cooperative classification and scoring
• In-game voice chat service
• Voice classifier for emotion extraction
• Emotion self-report library for game user interfaces
The game will then be ready for the children and teachers to play. Trials will be conducted at schools around Europe to assess the game from different points of view (usability, deployability, pedagogies, game development, etc.).
Future versions of The Chase will be released online for everyone to play, so watch this space for updates.
If you have questions regarding The Chase game, please contact the University of Southampton IT Innovation Centre here.