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Campus community invited to test educational computer game

Faculty and students in the Department of Computer Science at Appalachian State University have developed an educational, Kinect-based computer game and are seeking campus volunteers to try it out.

View larger imageSpellotron is a computer game designed to help players learn to spell. It was developed in the Department of Computer Science’s Visual and Image Processing Lab.

The game, Spellotron, was developed in the department’s Visual and Image Processing (VIP) Lab. While the target age is children in grades K-12, it’s suitable for all ages. Spellotron is designed to help engage learners by making spelling fun as players spell words using body poses.

Spellotron uses the Microsoft Kinect sensor, used with Xbox One, to detect body poses and hand and feet positions. The program recognizes different poses as letters of the English alphabet, thus players use a sequence of poses corresponding to the letters of the alphabet to spell a word. One of the unique features of the game is that it requires players to interact with it and pay attention to various visual features to successfully spell a given word. Players can choose the level of difficulty.

The designers and developers of the game are seeking user input to improve the game, which can at after providing some basic information on the registration form. A Readme file provides instructions for setting up your station. If you don’t own a Kinect sensor, one might be available for loan.

Requirements are a Kinect sensor (Version 1) and a Windows-based PC or laptop. A short video on the Spellotron page shows how the game works.

In addition to offering the free download, the Visual Image and Processing Lab will hold several demonstration sessions in the lobby on the third floor of Anne Belk Hall from 4-6 p.m. on Nov. 16, 17, 20 and 23. Signs will be posted on the third floor to help volunteers locate the stations.

While the download is free, donations are appreciated, but not required for downloading the game. Donations will provide support to students who work on this and similar projects. A math game is being developed that will be shared soon.