MediaLAB Amsterdam is now the Digital Society School! You are viewing an archive of MediaLAB projects. Content on this website may be outdated, and is without guarantee.

Playful Learning


Dennis Reep
Nick Bijl
Jill de Rooij
Anne de Bode
Alexander Sommers

Commissioner: Stichting Orion


How can hybrid games & physical exercise help special needs students in the ages of 12-20 years old collaborate better and build more trust in themselves and others to become more independent? A project in collaboration with Orion and Lectorate Games & Play.

Murcia – Week 2

In the second week of our stay in Spain, we went to a small village called Ceutí to work on our new prototype. The organisation of the Interactivos conference provided us a big workplace in a museum for contemporary art where all the groups could work on their prototypes. We also got a lot of materials and equipment (like a 3D-printer and soldering equipment) to work with, so we could start working right away!


First we started hooking up the arduino’s to the LED light, an on and off switch and preparing a wireless connection with a big red button that we use to start the game. We tried fitting all of this in the headband but we quickly found out that that this wasn’t the best design. One of the Interactivos coaches came up with the idea to 3D-print casings in which all the parts could fit, nice and tightly. This turned out to be a great solution and we proceeded further with this idea. We got help with modeling the 3D models to print and before we knew it we had a very nice looking box for our first prototype. Meanwhile Dennis prepared all the programming and got the bluetooth connection between the bands and the button working. On Thursday we had almost everything up and running, just in time for our first (spanish!) user-test.IMG_2301


The user-test was with a group of 25 spanish people with similar difficulties as our target group. The only difference was that they were slightly older; between 19 and 63 years old. Nevertheless, the user test went really well. The players understood how the game worked and they were very enthusiastic. Some of the participants were quite creative; for example: they cheated a couple of times by holding their hand close to the LED-light on their head so that they could see the colour of the light reflecting on their hand. Everything went smoother and better than we expected. The headbands worked really well and the group had a lot of fun. At the end of the demonstration we received some useful feedback from the group and their mentors. They had all kinds of ideas how we could improve our game further, to make it more exciting or how to make the instructions clearer.DSC_0241

We also made an instruction video (which you can see on our blog!) for our game, to easily explain how the game works. We decided to make it non-verbally and as easy as possible so everyone can understand it. The video was also used at the exhibition, displayed next to our prototype, to present our game. The exhibition was a really open affair where people could walk in an out and look at the different projects that were produced during the ten days before it. Other projects included a new media art project about the weather forecast, with umbrellas and lights that reacted to the weather. A game for children where they had to form the star constellations with each other, which they could see projected on the ceiling. And an app where people could mark fun places in a city via Twitter, to make others aware of them. It was really fun and inspiring to see all the other projects that our spanish colleagues were working on.


All in all we had a great time in Spain. It was sometimes hard work but there was also enough time to have fun (and to try the amazing spanish food!). We are really grateful that we had this amazing opportunity to work with really passionate and talented people, who helped us a great deal with our prototype. These two weeks really took our game to the next level and we’re super proud of the results. Now that we are back in Holland we can start to build further on our prototype to make the best game possible. We’ll keep you posted!

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *

To use reCAPTCHA you must get an API key from