Game Development for Education: Designing Learning Tools using Unity

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Sitoula, Ashim
lecture / presentation description
Video games, generally thought of as a playful pastime, can also be used as educational tools to bring about smarter ways of learning. They can not only provide students with an engaging and fun environment to learn from and heighten their curiosity, but also allow game developers to understand students’ thought processes as they attempt to solve a task within the game. By building upon this concept of video games with further feedback from the teaching community, it is possible to tailor specific behaviors of the game to go in line with the students’ needs and goals. The aim of this project is to design an intelligent computer-based game using the Unity 3D Game Engine. An interactive platform for game development combined with a supportive community made Unity the software of choice for this project. The project, as part of the PURSUE Program, is currently undergoing research and development that focuses on understanding the working elements of Reading Rocket–a game designed for the stealth assessment of reading level in middle-school children. The design process resonates with the philosophy of the Narrative Intelligence Lab–that of investigating how computers can use narrative to interact more naturally with people. The final outcome will be an entertaining computer game to play around with, and also one that addresses its bigger goal of positively impacting the learning practices of middle-school students.