eCUTE developed MIXER (Moderating Interactions for Cross-Cultural Empathic Relationships), an innovative technologically-enhanced learning application that will help children to deal with meeting and interacting with those who are different to themselves. MIXER is a virtual world simulation with intelligent interactive characters embodying models of behaviour and interaction.
MIXER will help children to understand that difference can be a good thing!
It is a narrative based game played on a PC with an iPad. The narrative behind the game is a story in which 2 groups of children arrive at a summer camp. Having never met each other the children encounter differences during the playing of a game called Werewolves.
Werewolves is a fun and enjoyable party game. Players are secretly assigned roles: either werewolf, who know each other; or villagers, who know only the number of mafia amongst them. The game has two phases – day and night.
In the game’s night phase the werewolves catch a villager. During the day phase, all of the surviving villagers debate the identities of the werewolves and vote to eliminate a suspect. Play continues until all of the werewolves have been eliminated, or until the werewolves outnumber the villagers. A typical game starts with seven villagers and two werewolves.
The main skills the game aims to develop are:
- Team play
- Strategic though
- Social Skills
There are many variations of this game, that also incorporate other characters. These characters can include a healer to bring those killed by the werewolves back to life, through to a little girl who can spy during the night.
The children/players using the MIXER application are introduced to Tom, who is new to the camp this year. Players watch the Tom and the other characters playing the werewolves game. The children communicate and advise Tom through an iPad application developed by eCUTE which uses Toy Language. Toy Language has been developed in the eCUTE project, it is a simple icon based language that shows actions and emotions. Children create sentences and then send these instructions to Tom who acts out the instructions in the MIXER application.