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  • Treme-treme - A serious game to teach children earthquakepreparedness

    Pedro Antnio Cardoso Barreto

    Thesis to obtain the Master of Science Degree in

    Information Systems and Computer Engineering

    Supervisors: Prof. Pedro Alexandre Simes dos SantosProf. Rui Filipe Fernandes Prada

    Examination Committee

    Chairperson: Prof. Jos Manuel Nunes Salvador TriboletSupervisor: Prof. Pedro Alexandre Simes dos Santos

    Member of the Committee: Prof. Joo Antnio Madeiras Pereira

    November 2014

  • ii

  • Resumo

    Os terramotos sao conhecidos como um dos maiores desastres naturais devido a sua imprevisibili-

    dade, e como nao e possvel de saber quando uma grande actividade ssmica ira ocorrer, e altamente

    recomendado estar preparado. Devido ao crescimento do interesse sobre as caractersticas de ensi-

    nar dos jogos serios, houve a oportunidade de usar os jogos serios como ferramenta de ensino para

    preparar as pessoas caso aconteca um terramoto. Este trabalho fala sobre um jogo serio que foi de-

    senvolvido para ensinar criancas do ensino primario sobre as normas e condutas corretas a tomar-se

    antes durante e depois de um terramoto, assim como, avisar sobre os riscos e tentar promover o dial-

    ogo familiar sobre este assunto. Para realizar isto, nos investigamos as caractersticas dos jogos serios

    e estudamos jogos com propositos semelhantes de modo a criar um jogo capaz de entreter a crianca

    enquanto ela aprende conteudo pedagogico. Com os resultados obtidos pelos testes feitos, nos pode-

    mos concluir que o nosso jogo foi capaz de atingir o seu proposito, sendo capaz de de aumentar o

    conhecimento sobre terramotos nas escolas.

    Palavras-chave: Jogos Serios, Terramotos, Preparacao, Criancas

    iii

  • iv

  • Abstract

    Earthquakes are known as one of the most dangerous natural hazards due to their unpredictability, and

    because it is not possible to know when a major seismic activity will occur, it is highly recommended

    to be prepared. Due to the growing interest in Serious games unique characteristics to teach and train

    individuals, there was an opportunity of using Serious games to better prepare and inform people about

    earthquakes. This work describes a Serious game that was developed to teach elementary school

    children about common practices and procedures to take before, during and after an earthquake as well

    as warn them about the risks and promote discussion among the students and diffuse this knowledge

    to their families. To achieve this, we investigated the characteristics of Serious Games and studied

    games with similar purposes in order to create a game able to entertain while teaching pedagogical

    content. Through the results obtained from the tests conducted we can conclude that our game was

    able to successfully achieve its purpose, being able to rise awareness about earthquake preparedness

    in schools.

    Keywords: Serious game, Earthquake, Preparedness, Children

    v

  • vi

  • Contents

    Resumo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iii

    Abstract . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v

    List of Tables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix

    List of Figures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xii

    Nomenclature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

    Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

    1 Introduction 1

    1.1 Motivation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

    1.2 Context . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

    1.3 Objective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

    1.4 Document Organization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

    2 Related Work 4

    2.1 Serious Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

    2.1.1 What is a Serious Game? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

    2.1.2 Why Video Games as learning tools? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

    2.1.3 Designing Serious games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

    2.2 Earthquakes preparedness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

    2.2.1 What to do before an earthquake? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

    2.2.2 What to do during an earthquake? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

    2.2.3 What to do after an earthquake? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

    2.2.4 Preparedness in schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

    2.2.5 Already existing Serious games and their analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

    2.3 Previous games analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

    2.4 Related Works Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

    3 Video Game Implementation 29

    3.1 Treme-tremes overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

    3.2 Creating a Serious Game . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

    3.2.1 Defining goals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

    3.2.2 Finding the playable elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

    vii

  • 3.2.3 Implementation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

    3.2.4 Designing the gameplay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

    3.3 Third level conceptualization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

    3.3.1 Third level Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

    3.3.2 Goals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

    3.3.3 Finding the playable elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

    3.3.4 Designing the gameplay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

    3.3.5 Interface and controls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

    3.3.6 Random Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

    4 Evaluation 49

    4.1 Preliminary tests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

    4.2 Evaluating Treme-treme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

    4.2.1 The objective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

    4.2.2 The Structure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

    4.2.3 Procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

    4.2.4 Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

    4.2.5 Concluding Remarks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

    5 Conclusions 59

    5.1 Discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

    5.2 Future Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

    Bibliography 66

    A Other games about earthquakes 67

    B Some of the messages present in the game 70

    C Surveys 72

    viii

  • List of Tables

    2.1 Design properties comparison table of analysed Serious games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

    3.1 List of the main objects present in this level, their type of behaviour and what they might

    do before, during and after the earthquake. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

    3.2 This table shows the overall set of events in the third level as well as when they are going

    to happen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

    4.1 This table shows the percentage of tries building the kit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

    ix

  • x

  • List of Figures

    2.1 Image from The Day The Earth Shook. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

    2.2 Image from Beat the Quake! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

    2.3 Image from Disaster Hero. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

    2.4 Image from Disaster Master. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

    2.5 Image from Build a kit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

    2.6 Image from Earthquake Survival. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

    3.1 Treme-tremes second level. The character is close to a valve and must interact with it to

    turn off the gas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

    3.2 Overall architecture of how we store, analyse, get and present the informarmation in our

    game. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .