A very serious Interview

I interviewed my 5-year-old brother on this concept, because what better way to find out if game-based learning had any effect on children? Just ask one of them, easy!

A cold, crisp morning in Cork, and Callum is playing with his Lego Police station that he received from Santa Claus. “Nee-naw nee-naw”. He’s so consumed with it, I couldn’t bear to take him away, but I do anyway, all in the name of #BADHIT. I take a gamble and tell him that he can play the online games on my laptop if he pulls through with this, and he seems to be all game for it then.

Sentences written in this interview have not been constructed for your pleasure, they have been recorded and written down word for word.

  • “Callum, do you think games help you learn?” 
  • “No”
  • “Why?”
  • “Because you always play all day, if you play all day, you’ll be crying if your mom gets.. if your mom gets really angry and she’ll put you up to bed, that’s not learning you”.
  • *Laughing* “okay…” 


  • “Do you know what Gamification means?”
  • “No, I don’t know”
  • “Gamification means the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems and increase users’ self contributions.”
  • “I don’t know what that means”
  • “It basically means, in your normal day, you pretend you’re in a game, so you can solve problems”
  • “Ya”
  • “Ya what?”
  • “I don’t know about ya what”
  • “Do you think it’s cool?”
  • “No”
  • *Disappointed* “Okay..” 

I showed him the 3 pictures below, and asked him what his favourite device to play with was.

controller-35824__180 joystick-38228__180ipad-147691__180

He pointed at the PlayStation remote and said “That one”.

  • “What games do you like that’s on the Playstation?” 
  • “Your game, because I love the drive, I love driving the car and I love when I’m sinking it under water” (He’s on about GTA V)
  • *Laughing nervously* Em… So you like playing the Wii, what’s your favourite game on the Wii?” 
  • “Eh, the Wii CD”
  • “So that’s the Wii Sports or Wii Sports Resort?”
  • *Excited* “Oh ya Wii Sports Resort!!”

Graphics and colours of Websites

  • “Do you like websites better if they’ve more colour in them?”
  • *Big grin on his face* “I love websites more than their colour” (He’s making no sense, but he can see I have games websites open and he’s playing up to me so he can play them)

Then I gave him the option of these two websites below, to choose which one he preferred just from looking at them.

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 12.25.32Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 12.31.09

  • Which website looks more appealing to you?” 
  • *Smiling and almost laughing* “This one” (He’s pointing to the one on the left, Disney Junior)
  • “Why Disney Junior?” 
  • “Because I love Disney Junior”
  • “But why do you like this website more than the other one?”
  • “Because Sheriff Callie was the new one that came on”
  • But does it look better”? 
  • “Ya”
  • “Is it because of the colours or what?”
  • “The colours, only one colour, you see the blue all around the picture, that’s my favourite colour!”
  • So you only like one colour in the background? Not loads like the one on the right?”
  • “Ya not like that one”
  • “So you think the rainbow colours work good with one colour in the background?” 
  • “Ya, even, even, the back of the screen. But I love playing Sheriff Callie, the Sheriff Callie game, That was a new one it came on”

This was his hint to say “I’ve done my part, we had a deal”. So I let him play ’till my battery died and told him he broke it. Now he has to wait ’till it’s “fixed” until he can play again. And with that, I have what I need.

Megan Desmond 


Graphics and colour choice for children’s games/websites

Graphics and colour choice for children’s games/websites


Personally, a great interest of mine is in graphics. I thought that a point of interest to investigate as regards to video games is the colour psychology.More importantly how colours have different psychological effects on children. According to information published by Smashing magazine, quite obviously vivid colouring is most important in designing for kids in order to immediately stimulate the senses.


Above is an example of a typical childs website. It’s obvious that colours play a huge part here and are proven to hold a child’s attention for a longer period of time. The concept of a colour scheme such as this on a regular website targeted for adults is almost laughable and personally, I would find it harder to concentrate on.


Other elements that have been shown to capture a child’s attention is an optimistic vibe.This is seen even above as each character displayed has a smiling face and is welcoming.


Thirdly elements from nature are commonly used as a result of a child having limited life experiences they can easily relate to factors from nature. This is the reason that it is commonplace for example with children’s website for there to be a usual usage of water scenes for example.


Deeper design in creation is necessary as allowing a child’s imagination to run wild on the ideas shown to them. Again in the example above there is depth in shine and shadow allowing easy visualisation.

Interaction on different levels such as audio,video and print outs can stimulate a child’s mind. These websites and games can help improve a child’s hand eye co-ordination and their general computer skills. Other websites incorporate other elements for a child to learn about such as numbers, letters and even languages. These games and websites can be very powerful so the colour choice and content is of great importance.

I have used this colour psychology on my own personal blog also in order to portray a certain image.

For example:


Red: strength, power, warmth and energy.

Blue: intellectual, communication, trust, coolness and calm.

Yellow: emotional, confidence and friendliness.

Green: balance, refreshment and peace.

Eva Wallace

Gamification of Education

This may sound a bit wild but could we soon be seeing a change in the education systems all around the world? The growth and development of technology has now spread in to the educational sectors of the world leading to new and innovative ways to learn. There has been a growth in gamed-based learning as video games have been proven to teach children as well as adults many things.

Video games use an idea of succeeding in order to progress. This can give students a chance to go at their own pace instead of being dragged along or even held back in class. Through games you are encouraged by mini prizes and level ups which give the player a sense of accomplishment. This motivation can be used in order for students to want to learn instead of having to learn.

With projects already in place such as ‘One laptop per child‘ (OLPC) this goal of the gamification of education may be very possible in the near future. OLPC had a plan in which they delivered boxes containing tablets, books and games in English to an isolated Ethiopian village. The villagers had never even seen a written word and were not given instructions as a test to see what they would do. Surprisingly, within minutes, the village children had learned how to turn on the tablets and within just a few months they had learned the alphabet and were singing songs in English. The remaining question now is if those Ethiopian children will learn the read and write in English. If so, this one simple step could be used in order to teach these children, and in fact children all over the world anything.

This simple act of learning makes us question whether or not technology should be brought in to classrooms of the developed world in order to see change.

Leanne Foley