About the Project
Founded in 2003, Sci-Tech Discovery Center is an elementary-to-middle school non-profit science centre in Frisco, Texas. They specialize in STEM creative projects that are more hands-on and informative for the children and students who visit. Their mission is
“To engage and inspire learners of all ages and backgrounds to embrace discovery and innovation through the active exploration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).”
Our project partner Rick Tett decided to base our project on the concept of inattentional blindness, which is the neurological phenomena where a person completely misses something that is directly in their field of vision while focusing on something else in the same field. He requested a game that uses the concept of inattentional blindness within the context of driving. Specifically, he wants the game to showcase how even when we are looking at the road ahead of us, we might not notice irregular objects and obstacles within our field of vision just because we were not expecting those.
The Game Plan
We plan on meeting our Project Partner’s criteria by designing a driving game that employs attention and hidden objects as mechanics to get across our message. We will focus primarily on developing a fun game that draws the attention of the players to the game so that they do not notice the randomly generated surprises coded in.
To be exact, we will code a driving game where the player is faced with various challenges. The main aim of the game for the player will be to follow certain road signs to remain on the correct route. There will be coins placed on the road for the player to collect, as well as obstacles that the player must avoid. Alongside, we will be providing certain “surprise elements” right on the player’s line of vision throughout the journey that we assume the player will never notice. The player will be so focused on getting the coins and avoiding the obstacles that they may not notice the surprise elements. Once the player reaches the end of the game, a cutscene will play to show them all of the surprise elements. Realizing that they did not notice these objects will help them understand the concept of inattentional blindness.
Thereby, we plan to design a fun, challenging game for the children so that they are entertained while playing it and simultaneously are made aware of the hazards of talking on the phone while driving.
Our goal for this semester is to have the game completed containing the things listed above. We will also remount the steering wheel to make to make the seating rig more comfortable for children. Overall, our goal is to finish this project.