Serious Games for Basic Learning Mechanisms: Reinforcing Mexican Children’s Gross Motor Skills and Attention

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Early childhood is the most important and rapid period of development in a human life as it is a period where the maturation of the brain and the central nervous system take place. In fact, researchers have established some theories and several studies indicating the relationship between brain maturity and learning disabilities. Nonetheless, when academic problems are present, therapy intervention approaches often consider the stimulation of sensory-motor functions as a key to help children reinforce their weaknesses. The configuration of goal-oriented for sensory integration therapy, however, is time-consuming and based on the expertise of the therapist’s clinical eye. Considering this, we approached a special education institution and conducted a 5-month user-centered design study to understand practices on supportive learning therapy, and evaluated the impact on children’s behavior after their interaction with a serious game aiming to stimulate sensory functions. Our findings indicate the serious game affected positively the children’s basic learning mechanisms (BLMs), by reinforcing balance, visual-motor, memory, attention, and spatial awareness abilities while interacting with the serious game. Therapists and parents informed about improvement with the engagement on therapy and home activities, and posture and calmness to complete scholar assignments. Future developments would consider improvements on gameplay, as well as accessible resources to inform therapists about children’s achievements in order to support therapy interventions.


This article was originally published in Personal and Ubiquitous Computing in 2021.

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