Scoop! is a Kinect-based game that applies research on power poses to reduce math anxiety. We see power poses in every day life, from the executive who sits behind his desk with hands behind his head and elbows pointing outward, to the nervous child with hands clasped together and body hunched over. High-power poses tend to be very expansive (taking up space) and open (limbs away from body), similar to the pose of the executive. On the other hand, low power poses tend to be closed and take up very little space, similar to the pose of the child. Recent research has shown that holding high-power poses will cause a decrease of the stress hormone cortisol and an increase of the hormone testosterone. These hormonal changes in turn correspond to feeling more powerful and less stressed.
Scoop! aims to take advantage of these high-power poses by utilizing them as mechanics of the gameplay. Scoop! is easy to learn and fun for all ages. The goal in Scoop! is to place falling fractions in the correct spot on a number line. Using the Kinect for skeleton tracking, players control this number line by moving their hands. When hands are closer to the body, the number line has a larger granularity (i.e. 1/3, 2/3, 3/3). Hands that are further away from the body cause a finer granularity (i.e. 1/9, 2/9, …, 9/9). Therefore, larger fractions cause players to hold an open, expansive position, and in doing so decrease math related anxiety.
Scoop! has been featured at the 2012 World Science Festival's "Innovation Square", 9th Annual Games for Change Festival, and as an interactivity demonstration for the CHI 2012 conference.
Katherine Isbister, Michael Karlesky, and Jonathan Frye. Scoop!: using movement to reduce math anxiety and affect confidence. In Proceedings of the International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games. ACM, 2012.
Katherine Isbister, Michael Karlesky, Jonathan Frye, and Rahul Rao. Scoop!: a movement-based math game designed to reduce math anxiety. In CHI'12 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, 2012.