Combining Ludology and Narratology in an Open Authorable Framework for Educational Games for Children: the Scenario of Teaching Preschoolers with Autism Diagnosis
This paper presents the initial findings and the on-going work of IOLAOS project, a general open authorable framework for educational games for children. This framework features an editor, where the game narrative can be created or edited, according to specific needs. A ludic approach is also used both for the interface as well as for the game design. More specifically, by employing physical and natural user interface (NUI), we aim to achieve ludic interfaces. Moreover, by designing the educational game with playful elements, we follow a ludic design. This framework is then applied for the scenario of teaching preschoolers with autism diagnosis. Children with autism have been reported to exhibit deficits in the recognition of affective expressions and the perception of emotions. With the appropriate intervention, elimination of those deficits can be achieved. Interventions are proposed to start as early as possible. Computer-based programs have been widely used with success to teach people with autism to recognize emotions. However, those computer interventions require considerable skills for interaction. Such abilities are beyond very young children with autism as most probably they don’t have the skills to interact with computers. In this context, our approach with the suggested framework employs a ludic interface based on NUI, a ludic game design and takes account of the specific characteristics of preschoolers with autism diagnosis and their physical abilities for customizing accordingly the narrative of the game.
KeywordsAutism Spectrum Disorder Emotion Recognition Autism Spectrum Condition Game Design Teaching Preschooler
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