This is an educational interactive game design, trying to teach children the evolution theory. This design was part of the Education Games and Entertainment course of the CSIM Master program.
The proposed environment is designed for children from 4 to 9 years old. This involves the installation in the kindergarten / primary school and a basic personal unit in the form of a cube. The installation consists of a cave-like room where a small village is represented. The cube is the single organism to be evolved which is assigned to each child.
The room is a 5 wall installation where a village along with its surroundings is virtually represented. All surroundings and elements of this virtual world can be altered according with the interaction that children have each day. Children can position their cubes in the floor of that room, activating their personal organism and participating in the daily tasks / games.
The cube represents the evolving organism. It has a unique fiducial marker pattern in the bottom and siftable-like screens in the other 5 surfaces. One of the screens represents the organism while the rest might give statistics of the evolution, followed paths and attributes, scientific facts of similar real world organisms. When the child returns home can observe the evolved attributes that occurred during the day.
For that class, the assignment included a possible scenario explaining a possible use of the proposal. Here it is:
Anna is a five year old girl, just about to begin her primary school life. Every day her mother takes her to the kindergarten where there is the “evolved” installation. Anna has an “evolved” cube with a red-yellow frog-like organism named Pan. Anna takes her virtual friend every day to play and learn about the environment with the other children.
When she enters the room, she places her cube in the floor and her character animates on it. She then decides to create a table in the virtual world in order to organize a tea party. She touches Pan’s hand, chooses the build option and she can either choose a premade furniture or building, or she can draw a new one. Unfortunately Pan is not strong or tall enough to build the table (as the interface indicates), so Anna’s friend, Jack, decides to help her with his organism, a pink giraffe named Gilou. Pan and Gilou can create the table, by putting their cubes together, but now they have to find tea! Anna and Jack decide to place their cubes near the animated forest in the wall. Maybe there is tea there. Gilou cannot find anything using his eyes looking at the tall trees, but Pan found some tea using his nose near the ground. After the tea gathering, they realize that there is too much tea for just them! They know from previous days that if they throw away the remaining tea, their surroundings will be dirty and the resources less. A lot of other organisms are going to complain about the mess… So Pan and Gilou invite the other children to their tea party. All kids put their cubes at the new table where the organisms animate and drink tea. Unfortunately the carnivore organisms cannot stay for long because their diet dictates some hunting, so after some time their characters decide to leave the party and look for some fish in the nearby river. The children follow their organisms, trying to hunt fish by placing the cube as fast and as accurate as they can to the animated fish. Pan and Gilou can continue their party, feeling nice for giving a break to the other organisms. They become increasingly popular!
When the class is over, Anna takes Pan home with her to see what are todays changes. Pan now is a little bit stronger in the hands because he built a room, his olfaction became even better so now he can find new roots and his charisma, which offers a community acceptance, is one point up due to the tea party event. The respective parts (hands, nose and brain) have a blinking point which Anna presses in order to hear and see the narration of evolution.