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My paper "Wii Can Do It: Using Co-design for creating an instructional game" was accepted to the CHI 2009 conference's works-in-progress track.
This is a big deal for me because the reviewers/judges were torn on whether or not it should be accepted (there was a lot of discussion), but, they all ranked me high in my writing skill. Take that 11th and 12th grade AP history teachers!
Here is the abstract:
There are many children for whom learning is difficult if they need to remain still. The Nintendo Wii, with its motion-controlled sensors, can support learning experiences that enable children to be physically active learners. This paper presents the methodologies and results from a multi-day, co-design session at the University of Maryland's Human-Computer Interaction Lab. The goal of the sessions was to design an instructional game that leveraged the Nintendo Wii's motion controls to teach about U.S. National Parks.
There are some things I wish I had done differently. In order to keep the count to 6 pages, I cut out this paragraph and that really confused the reviewers:
On the surface, it would seem as if the co-design sessions led to a recreation of the 1989 Broderbund game Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego?, even though none of the child- partners are old enough to have played that game. But, Carmen Sandiego was a fact- based game that required the players to identify historical events through clues, and, the preliminary game designed by Kidsteam requires higher cognitive skills to problem-solve. The Kidsteam game could engage more players because it relies on problem solving, physical activity, and immersive environments which may be traits of successful Wii games.
One reviewer said that the game designed in the project sounded like Oregon Trail...that paragraph may have shown that was an interesting finding.
Let's hope the future Walsh cooperates and I am able to go in April.