A software system has been designed and developed to allow for the display, symbolic manipulation, and player entry of mathematics expressions in mobile games. Display, manipulation, and entry of mathematical expressions are traditionally difficult tasks. Increased limitations on screen space and user input when developing for mobile devices only exacerbate these difficulties. The developed software system balances considerations for ease of use and user interaction with the desire for players to be able to enter answers in a way that is more flexible and interactive than multiple choice, which is the dominant method of interactions in serious games. The software system uses a modular design to separate symbolic math software components from math display components to facilitate reuse of the software system. Additionally, the system displays mathematical expression in a way that is consistent with textbook and handwritten notations to ease the transition between the game and the classroom. Finally, the system provides affordances for natural user interaction to promote usability and engagement. This system has been used to develop a mobile game designed to help students master introductory calculus and physics at the undergraduate level.
Part of the book: Game Design and Intelligent Interaction