Title: PUPPET: playing and learning in a virtual world

Authors: Paul Marshall, Yvonne Rogers, Mike Scaife

Addresses: Interact Lab, Department of Informatics, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9QH, UK. ' Interact Lab, Department of Informatics, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9QH, UK. ' Interact Lab, Department of Informatics, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9QH, UK

Abstract: When a child is engaged in improvisational play, representations of the activity are transient. Thus, to reflect on or change what has been done requires great effort of memory. This paper argues that by recording aspects of children|s activity while they are engaged in improvisational play, virtual environments can provide powerful tools to support children|s reflection about aspects of narrative. A virtual environment called PUPPET is introduced, which aims to allow children to engage in playful interaction with autonomous agents, while recording dialogue for the characters in the world. An evaluation of the PUPPET system suggests that children found the environment to be a motivating and engaging one. Furthermore, recording and editing dialogue for the characters in the world was found to be successful in eliciting reflective thought and discussion between the children.

Keywords: child learning; children playing; external cognition; reflection; autonomous agents; improvisation; PUPPET; reflective thought; discussion; virtual environment; virtual theatre; virtual reality.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCEELL.2004.006018

International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning, 2004 Vol.14 No.6, pp.519 - 531

Published online: 21 Jan 2005 *

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