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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Day Three in Saint Lucia

Merry Christmas from a classroom in Saint Lucia. The children are all on break but we've been fortunate. Alleyne the PMC representative in Saint Lucia has rounded up children and teachers/coaches across this island to participate in our testing of the game.

The internet at the Inn can be iffy. I’m not sure if it is because of the amount of techies that have descended on it or that’s just the way it is. Long and short it took about 3 hours to try to upload our photos to Facebook and only partially succeeded.

Luckily our first day of testing, Wednesday, was very successful. We went to two schools. One in Dennery and one in Vieux Fort. We were able to work with approximately 30 boys between the ages of 8-15, and one girl. The group was a good slice of the demographic we are creating the game for.

Mollie relates that it was interesting when the goats and the horses walked into the classrooms.
Other observations from the Champlain College students are in regards to the game. There were slight differences in how the boys viewed aspects of the game dependent on age. Most of the participants thought that the game characters were roughly the age we created them to be although Mary was thought to be slightly older than we targeted. As for where the game characters came from – it ran a range from Brazil to Georgia to England to eastern Caribbean to a hotel (this makes sense because of the influx of tourist on Saint Lucia and the corresponding ethnicity discrepancy).

As for the game play that varied. One aspect was how they used the keyboard. There was a range in how they used it – some proficient and quick, others used two hands in a unique way and even collaboratively shared the keyboard. We tested both the skill-based games and the narrative. We did have some technical problems but even that brought forth interesting information. For example with a test in which the audio did not play throughout, a small group of boys they would follow along with the dialogue with voice over and refer to each other to make selections. When the play switched to the skill building games they would play singularly.

What was rewarding was that the boys wanted to continue to play and even asked where they could get the game. The only thing that trumped their desire to play the games was an actual soccer/football game that began when almost all the testing was completed. In that game Alex and Ray even jumped in to play!


Bryan Hare said...

Awesome Guys! Seems like its going great!

How were they at football? ;)

Ann DeMarle said...

They were REALLY good - the Saint Lucians that is.

Joel Pelletier said...

yeah it was funny watching Ray attempting to keep up with them. These kids breathe Football.