Challenge mode seeks to bring more playful approaches to the interaction between the user and the device, by adding a number of gaming elements to the standard use mode:
The first approach is integrated on the actual Usage mode by using a picture multiple choice game. While on route and as landmarks approach, Route Mate challenges the user to select the next key landmark from three of the pictures with which they themselves have personalized their route.
By assigning a specific photo to the next landmark during the Plan Mode, Route Mate generates a mini game that actually reinforces the relationship between the digital map, the actual setting and the picture, supporting user’s decision on where to go next.
The second approach is a playful narrative approach of digital scavenger hunts, by extending the landmark style and interactions in different ways, and using them to scaffold different phases of use of the application. This approach seeks to teach/reinforce the concept of maps and route learning, as well as promoting the connection between the map and the real world.
During the Plan mode and by using different icons that promote narrative, playful storytelling and safety, the facilitator can easily design playful games using many different narratives. For example:
- Pirates – associated with route planning and creation activities while locating treasure and possible enemies in an urban setting
- Ninjas – a “scavenger hunt” to find as many treasure items as possible, easily associated with being road cautious and aware of ourselves, of other pedestrians and staying safe and on route while using Route Mate
- Firemen – find fires and put them out – associated with developing independence confidence on a particular route and can be easily turned into a competitive game between users in a safe urban setting.
- Shopping Spree – locate all the latest shopping trends – associated with developing independence and taking care of ourselves. A more female approach to scavenger hunt that can easily be combined with shopping skills training or female beauty training.
- Street Smart – locate the next street trouble and stay safe – map and street signs association with real life settings
There are many scenarios that can be used with the embedded icons. Teachers could use the scenarios either in a competitive or a cooperative way between users. However it is always advisable, for safety reasons and especially when using a competitive scenario, users should be accompanied and preferably in a safe setting.
Examples of Playful Narratives
Route Ninjas and the Lost Emeralds
You are Super Ninjas ready to find the lost jewels of the emerald sword! Where is the next jewel hidden? Follow the map carefully!
Be careful, Evil Samurai Engines might block your way and guide you away from the jewels. Mind your steps young Ninja and always follow the pedestrian footsteps of the great elder ninjas before you! May all Green Traffic Lights guide your way!
Route of the Pedestrian Pirates
Follow the X marks on the mystical map and be the first to arrive at the location of the secret treasure hoarde. Be careful though, while roaming the seas, remember to watch for the green lights or else hungry sharks may await you and your crew.
Possible Usage Scenario
- Choose or create a new scenario, then by using Route Mate console educators or students can insert different icons at waypoints (e.g., treasure, ninjas etc.) in while planning
- Load the route on the Android Device and prepare the students for the game.
- The student is then challenged, using game play around pirates, for example, to find this treasure in the real world. The facilitator could read a small script beforehand, and props (e.g. pirate scarves, patches, foam swords etc) can be an extra motivator as well as stickers, tags and actual tokens that player wins upon arrival at each digital landmark.
- Whilst following the route, this narrative is reinforced by the Route Mate icons and by the facilitator.
- At the end of the route, the facilitator can reinforce the winning feelings by using props and taking pictures of the user at the end location.
- After the game, the facilitator can discuss the gameplay with the users, taking feedback and assessing users’ ability to retrace their steps while following the scenario.