06 Oct 2015

In September I was able to attend two conferences, to learn more about relevant research and also to present our work so far.

The first conference was organised by the Society for the study for behavioural phenotypes (SSBP). The purpose of the SSBP is to study the learning and behavioural problems of individuals with genetic disorders, so the TASTER project fitted in very well. I presented a poster on our progress so far, and was able to show some encouraging data from our playtests.

The second conference was on ‘Virtual worlds and games for serious applications (VS-Games).’ This was more focused on serious games, that is, games designed for a purpose other than just entertainment. This time I was able to give a short oral presentation. Since the focus of this conference was different, I spent more time talking about the design and development process I’ve been using. A really important part of this process has been the involvement of children with PWS throughout development, and this involvement is on several levels. Obviously, children have informed on the design of the game, both by telling us directly what their preferences are, and through behavioural and physiological measures of how engaged they are with the prototypes. But in a more abstract sense, children are involved in virtue of the fact that our decision to make a game that trains cognitive flexibility is based on scientific research that has linked a deficit in this area (in children with PWS) to temper outbursts.

Both conferences were really informative, with a great range of interesting research on display, and I learned a lot by attending them.

Posted by Nigel Robb