These prototype projects are developed in conjunction with real-world stakeholders and academic subject specialists. The projects range from serious games supporting older people with dementia, understanding autism, realtime tracking of African wildlife to assisting student teachers learning teaching techniques. On the day teams gave formal presentations plus hands-on sessions to demonstrate prototypes and answer further questions.
Hiero Hero: Hieroglyph Exploration 2
Rosetta Stone: Hieroglyph Exploration 3
Explore Giza: Ambient Model Exploration 1
Journey through the pyramids: Ambient Model Exploration 2
Stimulus: Dolhuys Museum: Understanding Autism
Little Protector: The Internet of Elephants
Digitops: Interactive media in juvenile Prisons 1
RealMe: Interactive media in juvenile Prisons 2
Truman: The news room in 2025 1
Marvin: The news room in 2025 2
Boom der Herinneringen: Engaging people with dementia
Wizcat Nightmare: Teaching Mathematics: Preparing for the Wizcat exam
The project supervision team include Media College staff Hugo Verlaat, programmaleider and docent, and Stephanie Scheers-Hannema programmaleider and games developer. University of Amsterdam staff include Dr. Frank Nack, Ellis Bartholomeus developer and researcher in playful living, and Daniel Buzzo. With staff from design agency Informaat (Baarn).
Read more about the UvA and MediaCollege collaboration.
With special thanks to;
Gautam Shah, Founder & CEO of The Internet of Elephants: connecting people to wildlife through new technology. Client and stakeholder for the team creating an educational game for school to learn about the challenges and obstacles to overcome in wildlife conservation.
Floris Mulder, scientific specilist at the Dolhuys Museum of mental health. Content and supject expert provider for the team developing the anti-stigma mental health game for young teenagers Rob Ebbeling from Cordaan de Diem who has enabled several teams recent years to develop tools and games to activate and motivate the elderly coping with dementia and cognitive decline living in carehomes.
HieroglyphGo is an interactive educational game for kids between the age of eight and twelve. The game is designed for the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam and more specifically for kids to explore hieroglyphs and to learn more about the Ancient Egyptian world.
The game includes interaction with two devices: a tablet and a smartphone. After entering the museum, the kids can log in to the game and watch a video about hieroglyphs on the tablet. They receive the main information about the game with the help of god Thoth. He gives them a special task: to decipher a message and free goddess Nut. After watching the video, the users can proceed with the game using their mobile devices. There are hints which will guide the kids around the different exhibits in the Egyptian section. They will be able to chase hieroglyphs in a modernized way. A QR code will be waiting for them at each exhibit, after finding the right one, a question about this exhibit will appear on the device. On entering the correct answer to the question, the user ‘unlocks’ some hieroglyphs.
After successfully collecting the hieroglyphs, the kids can go back to the tablets where they can check all the hieroglyphs they found. They can use all of the collected hieroglyphs to decipher a secret message, which will help god Thoth free the goddess Nut. After they decipher the message, they should answer one last question about hieroglyphs. The answer has to be given by drawing the corresponding hieroglyph. The role of this educational game is to allow visitors of the Allard Pierson Museum to learn more about the Egyptian world and hieroglyphs in a fun and interactive way.
Our interaction design project for the Allard Pierson Museum, in collaboration with Caroline Verweij, features a multi-step learning module intended to teach museumgoers ages 8-12 about hieroglyphics and ancient egyptian culture. Our learning goals were to impact basic knowledge about how to understand hieroglyphics as both a language and symbol of culture. Each step in our interactive process introduces a new concept about the language: how it is written, what the symbols represent, how the alphabet works, etc. These goals are accomplished through a series of interactive games designed to assist the user in remembering these basic facts. Accompanying each of these games is a simple storyline which encourages participants to feel like they are solving a grand puzzle. We hope that this, in turn, encourages them to become more interested in the language, the museum, and the artifacts surrounding them.
Each participant receives their own scannable card which will allow them to measure their progress through each stage as well as give themselves and equate them to letters in the Romantic alphabet. the games can be completed in any order preferable to the user. In the final stage, it is recommended that the user had completed all of the other games, but not a requirement.
We have tested this game multiple times with family friends and Viersprong School in Wijchen; as a result, we believe this experience provides an optimal balance between engaging the user in the task and providing a simplicity that is not too demanding.
Hiero-hero is a digital game-based education system for children visiting the Allard Pierson museum (Amsterdam), which provides them with a basic understanding of hieroglyphics. The children can play a set of minigames on a tablets encased in a pyramid structure. Each mini-game teaches about a different aspect of the hieroglyphic writing system. The games are placed within a narrative about a mummy who cannot get back to his sarcophagus. Children are encouraged to play the games by helping the mummy to get back to it.
Nout van Deijck, Stavros Kanellopoulos, Chris Verbeek and Corine Jacobs
Museums worldwide are struggling adapting to new ways of interaction. Explore Giza is an interactive museum installation that proposes the use of several types of interaction analog as well as digital. Explore Giza is designed for student groups aged eight to ten years. Explore Giza is an interactive museum installation that tells different narratives about the ancient Egypt through tangible smart replicas, projections, Augmented Reality and gamification. The museum experience is enhanced because the installation enables the use of all the senses and turns the museum into an explorable playground. A pre- and after educational experience have been designed to level-up the knowledge of the children, and makes a more general level of information distribution through the installation possible. By using gamification in the form of quizzes, children are motivated to understand as much of the provided information as possible. Also the educators are able to test the gained knowledge of their students.
Jessie Both, Reika Chavers, Didi de Hooge, Gijs de Jager and Roland van Paridon. top
The aim of the project is to determine whether an augmented game can help children to acquire knowledge about a subject. The subject of this project is a model of the Plateau of Giza, which is located in the archeological Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam. Although the museum occupies an interesting collection on the ancient societies, the museum aims to increase the interaction between the collection artifacts and their visitors and to attract a wider audience, specifically families with children (between 8 and 12 years). The museum aims to provide their visitors an unique experience and to educate them on the importance of the ancient civilization to the contemporary European culture with a more engaging and dynamic approach. During this project an interactive, educative and entertaining augmented game is developed and evaluated. In the game, the player learns how to build a pyramid through questions and a mini-game.
A small pre-test has been conducted with a clickable mock-up prototype to detect early points of improvement for the final implementation. The pre-test showed that the users were indeed able to learn more about the building process through the game. The results did show the importance of early feedback, and these points were used to improve the final prototype. Through the application of the Nielson Heuristics method the usability of the final game is tested on 16 children between 8 and 12 years.
Margriet Bebnik, Sascha van Essen, Rianne van der Laan, Babette Wiechmann and Wenyi Chong top
The Dolhuys Museum in Haarlem concerns itself with the mind and mental health issues, with the goal to reduce the stigma associated with mental health via different programmes, such as De Bovenkamer, aimed at secondary school students. In order to bring this programme to more schools, the Dolhuys is developing a lesson plan to take on tour. In this context, we have developed a concept for a serious game for these students to play in a classroom setting. The resulting concept, named Stimulus, attempts to give players an insight in how people with Autism experience everyday life. The project aims to be innovative by involving all students simultaneously using cooperative and centralized gameplay using a digiboard or beamer and tablets or other mobile devices. The underlying idea is that cooperative gameplay increases positive affect, i.e. should generate empathy, and that through playing together, the topic of mental health is made available for discussion. Finally, the experience this project provides should serve as a good starting point for a discussion in the classroom regarding mental health issues.
Little Protector is an educational game designed to teach children about wild animals and their environments, and by doing so creating an emotional bond between children and animals. Created with the help of Internet of Elephants that provided real GPS data, giving the game an extra feature. The game uses this data of existing animals, backed up with stories from their lives, making the experience more real. The player gains the role of spiritual being created to protect wildlife and nature, with the help and guidance of the all knowing, ancient Tree of Life. It is a fun game that uses puzzles to progress through the space and knowledge to progress through the game. We are excited to show you how this is done at our booth at the AUX’17, hope to see you there.
Juvenile prisoners have group interventions to learn about social skills and how and when to use these skills in daily life. During these interventions, they make use of a booklet in which they find tasks, questions and more explanation on the different social skills. This booklet and the way the juveniles have to do their tasks does not correspond with the 21st century skills we want them to develop. We were asked to apply more blended learning to the group interventions and came up with a concept that can be combined with the current interventions.
DIGITops is a game to be played by 3-6 people. Underlying theory is the Bloom Taxonomy, because we want the juveniles to learn, understand, remember and apply social skills. To be able to apply skills in a real life situation, you must first be able to remember what you just learned and then understand it. Our concept is a new way of teaching TOPS methodology. The role of mentor who provides explanation of social skills and guides a discussion is combined with digital and interactive games. The intervention consists of several minigames, each covering one of the aspects in Blooms taxonomy.
Gaby Eenschoten, Margie Liauw, Alissa Muffels and Bonita van Veldhoven top
Leaving prison sounds more promising than it turns out to be in many cases. The world has progressed without you, the people you know have changed and you're disconnected from everyday abilities such as social and employability skills. REALME aims to give (young) prisoners a positive outlook when released, by informing about employment options and motivating their self development. At any cost, we want to prevent prisoners from falling back into their old habits.
REALME has a magazine-style collection of profession pages, which consist of 'A day in the life of' videos, descriptions, courses and tasks provided inside prison. This allows prisoners to get an impression of the actual professions while gaining basic experience. The Homepage of REALME easily guides the users through the service with tutorials and todo's for the chosen profession courses and tasks. Achievements motivate the completion of todo's. A user profile, which is silently a CV, is automatically upgraded by the completed courses and tasks. In summation, REALME provides information about professions, education, real experience and CV building in a motivating and playful way.
If REALME manages to persuade 10-20% of prisoners to seek for proper employment when released, that would already be considered a very welcome accomplishment. For a more visual view on the REALME project, feel free to watch our related trailer video:
Charilaos Mulder, Anneke Wiltenburg, Xander Koning, Danielle Duijst and Gregory Tsardinidis top
Truman is a conceptual application designed to support journalists in a fast-changing media landscape. It merges a user friendly interface with the essential artificial intelligence tools and algorithms likely to make their breakthrough in the near future. By consulting international journalists during the development the demands of journalism in a future newsroom setting were clarified and are reflected in the tool. Truman transcribes videos in real time while pulling annotations from multiple online sources, enabling journalists to write, edit, and fact-check articles instantly. Truman also has an advanced recommendation tool, which allows journalists to find secondary sources for existing stories, as well as new leads, all within the application.
Ronja Brettschnieder, Kellie English, Sebastian Ayala Mehidau and Nicolas Schabram top
Marvin is a simulation of an Artificial Intelligence System capable of aiding journalists in their day to day tasks: analyzing data, writing stories and interviewing. We designed it with the objective of providing Fontys Future Media Lab with a means of discovering how journalists would like to interact with automatic tools that might be at their disposal in 2025. For that, we created three scenarios, each based on a particular journalistic task. We included tools that we think might exist by that year, such as a summarizer dashboard, chatbots, fact-checkers, and others. The idea behind the design of these tools was to create a plausible scenario, where the journalist might believe they are actually dealing with futuristic tools, and spark a conversation about their wants and needs.
The final product then, is a combination of scenarios that allow researchers to discover what tools they should create for the future of journalism. We provided the journalists with an actual (fictional) storyline and placed them in a hands-on working situation. Therefore, they could start thinking about how these tools would affect their daily work, and what their preferences for using them would be. And, since the tools’ interaction is ‘faked’, the journalists are completely free to choose their preferred means of interaction. This permits researchers to observe and analyse their reactions to each of the tools.
Koen Vos, Justin Verhulst, Celine van der Geer, Nynke Heussen and Melissa Rofman. top
The increase of short-stay apartments and houses in Amsterdam has affected the city, causing nuisance in neighborhoods and a rise in housing prices, where the market was already inflated. Despite Amsterdam’s regulation and the efforts to pursue illegal rentals, the enforcement of current regulation is impossible because companies like Airbnb refuse to provide the data of those hosts with illegal apartments.
There is a need for an alternative short-stay rental platform owned and driven by a local community of house owners. Fairbed is a platform that offers transparency in their profit and loss, as it is driven by a local co-operative owned by house owners. Part of the money received by the hosts will be offered to support local community projects, which will benefit the neighborhoods. Through the Fairbed platform, users can suggest projects, have discussions and select the projects that they would like to support. The local community will influence the policies and direction of Fairbed, while aligning their goals with the Amsterdam municipality’s objectives.
Some of the key questions Fairbed platform address are:
“How could these activities be managed to be beneficial to local initiatives and be kept from extracting values only for investors and speculators? How could they be managed so that visitors are encouraged to stay in those areas where they are not a disturbance, but beneficial to the neighbourhood?” (De Waag, 2016)
Dementia is a widespread disease that affects a large percentage of the population. Almost everybody knows at least someone who has been directly or indirectly affected by it. The disease progresses fast and often times leaves patients with nothing more than their long term memories as their working memory deteriorates. Working together with the Cordaan health care institution we have been aiming to provide a holistic experience. Our design resulted in the Tree of Time which stimulates a variety of senses and let residents reminisce their past by providing smell, sound and visual feedback.
Tapping into long term memory, the part least affected by the disease, we let the patients engage with the happiest and most pleasing memories from their past and make them feel competent about their mental capabilities. In addition the soothing effects of natural environments have been proven to reduce stress and provide comfort, which is important for improving the quality of life of patients.
The Tree of Time provides an aesthetically pleasing experience that lets residents delve back into their happiest memories. This offers a moment of bliss in their everyday life struggling with the disease.
Isabella Wentink, Hendrik Engelbrecht, Paul Schrijver, Armin Karimi Birgani, Casper Oostdam, Raymon Zoetigheid and Jidske Donkersloot top
Future teachers are having trouble with fundamental mathematics, which is proven by a low number of passes for the WisCat exam. By creating an application that teaches the basics of math, these students can get familiar with the underlying skills needed to pass this exam. We propose a game that isolates the mathematical principles. These are addressed by different mini-games with a narrative that satirizes the teaching games currently available and uses the view of students on the WisCat exam with metaphors throughout the game. As a player you become part of the WizCat Nightmare, in which you are tormented by an evil cat, the WizCat, which changed everything in the world into ball-shaped objects. In order to progress in the game and eventually get out of the nightmare, you need to solve math problems, specifically focussed on the metric system.
Viktor Bensch, Tim Tempelaars, Marco Vesco, Kees Klop, Nathan Nieuwenhuizen, Jacky Schoen, Dawid Wrucinski and David Zwitser top
To gain more insight into this project, please read the documentation at uva-games.com/index.php?title=Math-team