While only a paper prototype, a game being developed by U graduate students is already reducing bullying and increasing attendance in classes in a local elementary school. "One mother told us it used to be a struggle to get her kid to school on time, but after the game, he pushes her to get him to school on time," said JenJen Francis, an Entertainment Arts and Engineering graduate student.
Their game is called Xcadation, formerly known as Navitas, a system of software and accessories to help teachers improve learning engagement and classroom management. The game developers are collaborating with fifth- and sixth-grade teachers for design and testing.
Xcadation software is an educational game that puts students into groups that become virtual countries on a fictional planet. Countries share an arch-enemy, Perditus, who tries to occupy them. Children are "wielding education in defense of home." When students exhibit positive actions in real life, they receive resources for character-building, country upgrade or stronger equipment. If they fail to meet academic and classroom expectations, resources go to Perditus, which gives him strength. Parents and teachers get immediate feedback on the progress of the children.