Nov 1, 2006
By: Alvaro Fernandez
Very fun day at the Serious Games Summit yesterday. I was part of a panel on Games that Change Behaviors or Teach Skills. We had 90-100 people in the room, who were willing to participate and do the Stroop test aloud to have some fun (many of them being in the military, they were pretty good!) and see how difficult it may be to inhibit learned behaviors. We reviewed the key elements in a powerful Brain Fitness Program such as Cogmed Working Memory Training (now for people with ADD/ ADHD), RoboMemo. Many interesting people, including from some military training academies, came to speak afterwards. Fun.
I shared some of the design implications of trying to accomplish behavior change, using RoboMemo as an example:
– Measure clear objective: Teacher and Parent Evaluations, on top of cognitive measures
– Assess and Train bottleneck: working memory
– Design for Cross-training. Spatial andÃ‚Â visual tasks, each with a number of different activities and a sophisticated back-end algorithms
– Think Exercise, more than Games: we are talking about an Individualized Program with maximum Stretching practice
– Ensure Compliance: Reward game at the end of the session, supplemented with coaching for kids and metrics for adults.
Earlier in the day I had had the opportunity to interview Daniel Gopher, Professor of Cognitive Psychology and Human Factors Engineering at the Technion, on his cognitive trainers for pilots and for basketball players. Professor Gopher insisted on the need for “cognitive fidelity” in any training program or simulation, as a more important element than “physical fidelity”. Will aim at having the interview published by Friday, so you can enjoy a very nice weekend read.