Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
INTRODUCTION
Regarding the use of games to gather engi-
neering students perception of the application of
physics laws there are lots of practical examples.
Among them, the billiard tables appear as an
adequate tool, from very simple examples (Math-
sIsFun.com, 2008) to more complex systems as
in (Free Download Manager, n.d.).
All of these billiards games share similar
equipment - a long rectangular table, balls and
a stick - but they differ from each other in their
goals and styles of play (Mahoney & Davis, 2007).
Nevertheless, in some areas there are not avail-
able commercial solutions, or at least solutions to
ensure comfort, independence and enjoyment of
the whole population. In particular, people who
require special education are often “forgotten”
by society, resulting in increased difficulty in
performing simple tasks. The education system
and the educational products on the market are
normally targeted at the general population; there
are few products with particular characteristics
for special education. The existing games in this
area have some categories that stand out, as are
games of Logical Reasoning, Recognition of
Facial expressions/feelings, Visual Perception,
Concentration, Memory and also Game Sequences
(do2learn, n.d.; GreyOlltwit Educational Software,
n.d.).Typically, they respond very well to visual
stimuli (as bright colors and multicolor images)
and sound stimuli (for example, pieces of music
and funny sounds). The aim of this work is, then,
the development of an educational game for young
people who require special education, in particular
young people with mental disability. Students in
special education have a set of characteristics
that should be considered in order to enhance the
development of certain capabilities. Usually, they
have low attention, many of them cannot read or
write, and have little autonomy in carrying out
simple tasks from the daily routine (Filho, n.d.).
The undemanding task “eating a yogurt” can be
very complicated for disabled people, who do not
know the correct sequence of actions. This work
is part of a research project undertaken through
Several definitions of game can be stated but, in
general, a game considers a structured activity
focused on pleasure, not discarding the educational
purpose. The use of games and simulations as
educational tools is well documented (Carpick,
2002; Mayo, 2007; Muñoz, Noguez, McKevitt,
Neri, Robledo-Rella, & Lunney, 2009). For the
authors, games are viewed as a strategy for get-
ting students to, not only, understand but also to
retain the concepts, helping them in soft skills as
teamwork, strategy, competition, problem solving
(Smith, 2008). Some others studies complement
this idea evaluating games from an educational
point of view, identifying that they increase the
students' level of engagement while interfacing
with the game however, learning in a similar way
(Muñoz et al., 2009; Annetta, Minogue, Holmes,
& Cheng, 2009).
Considering the teaching/learning process and
how games can be employed in this process (if they
really can), there is a difference between supplying
information to the students and delivering learning.
To give information simply is not enough for an
efficient learning. Intuition, imagination, interac-
tivity are considered as key parts in the learning
process. The possibility to individually construct,
manipulate, modify and control an experiment
is a strong aspect for students. The paradigm 'to
learn by doing' in a friendly and animated way
is essential to form good professionals, in special
in the different areas of engineering. Here, the
use of games for pedagogical and educational
purposes can play an important role. In this way,
students acquire and develop their knowledge
by challenging. Each student has his own way
of learning: some learn by reading, others by
listening and others by experiencing, by doing.
With games, learning environments must include
the elements to satisfy each student, no matter it
is focused on high school learning outcomes or
if it is dedicated to promote and develop social
competences in disabled persons.
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