Luxembourg researchers nominated at Game Connection Europe 2019

‘Mathemarmite’ A game created by the xCIT research group, led by FNR ATTRACT Fellow Dr Pedro Cardoso Leite, is nominated for an Indie Development Award at Game Connection Europe 2019. The free game is a research tool in itself: the goal is to help children learn by understanding how they learn.

Mathemarmite is nominated in the category Best social effect / game beyond entertainment.

In addition to the 13 categories at Game Connection Europe 2019, the competition also features a “People’s Choice Award”, where the winner will be the nominee with the most likes on Facebook.

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‘Mathemarmite’ – understanding the concept of quantities

The aim of Prof Cardoso-Leite’s research group xCit is not only understand the effect games can have on cognitive abilities, but to create games that can be used as research tools to answer such questions – and subsequently use this knowledge to create games to help strengthen certain cognitive abilities.

“We will be using the games as a product to teach. Once we understand how the effects video games have on cognitive abilities can help improve learning, we can use them as a tool to teach and improve learning,” explains Pedro Cardoso-Leite

The first game created by the group – ‘Mathemarmite’ – is a free game available to download from the Apple and Play store. The aim of the game is to help children understand e.g. the concept of quantities, which can help them when they start to learn math in school. The focus on the game is on early math abilities because they are fundamental in future academic and professional success.

The game is designed to help children understand the concept of numbers. Data gathered from children playing the game will help the researchers understand how the children learn.

Developed in collaboration with experts in children’s mathematical abilities and machine learning, Mathemarmite offers young children an opportunity to hone their counting abilities in a cosy, timeless and friendly environment. As part of the game, kids can follow various recipes and mix specific ingredients in the right quantities in a cauldron to cast spells and discover a variety of monstrous transformations that they can immortalise in a ‘Monster Photobook’.

“The theme of the game involves (not so scary) monsters because we wanted to plant the seed in children’s mind that monsters and math don’t need to be scary and can in fact be the source of fun, creativity and joy,” Prof Cardoso-Leite explains.

Data gathered as people play the game is used to personalise in real-time the individual’s learning experience but is also processed extensively offline to improve Prof Cardoso-Leite’s and his team’s understanding of the human mind and contribute to the development of better educational games for future generations: by playing the game, the children contribute to science.

Find out more

Find out more about Game Connection Europe 2019

Discover more about the Mathemarmite game and the research of FNR ATTRACT Fellow Dr Pedro Cardoso Leite below.

Researchers develop game to help children learn to count and contribute to science in the process

As part of a research project to better understand the human mind, a research group at the University of Luxembourg, led by FNR ATTRACT Fellow and experimental psychologist Prof Pedro Cardoso-Leite, has developed a game to help children learn to count. The game is a research tool in itself: the goal is to help children learn by understanding how they learn.

FNR ATTRACT Fellows – the people behind the science: Pedro Cardoso-Leite

With his research group, Assistant Prof Dr Pedro Cardoso-Leite combines experimental psychology with video games, in an effort to understand how our mind works, and how this knowledge can be leveraged to improve learning. We spoke to the Portuguese-Luxembourg national about his return to Luxembourg after almost two decades, what he wants to achieve in the next five years, and how his interdisciplinary team is broadening his horizon.

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