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Game design and the
gamification of content:
The VirtualSign project
This work was supported by the Engineering Institute
of Oporto and GILT (Graphics, Interaction and
Learning Technologies) under grant No. 60973089, a
project FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia).
1. Implementation of a bidirectional translation system for
Portuguese Sign Language (LGP)
2. Development of a game focused primarily on
educational and didactic aspects
• configuration and movement of the hands;
• body position/inclination;
• facial expressions;
Movement of the Hands
Hand shape Palm orientation
Depth Sensor (Kinect) Data Gloves (5DT)
Translation through an avatar
Dynamic recognition of the Gestures
Sign Language Serious Game
Virtual Sign Application
1- Finite Automata
2- Algorithms for Hierarchical
3- Sequence Alignment
1. The inventory script.
2. The graphical interface.
3. The map has objects, and those
objects contain scripts on them.
4. The inventory consists of 42 spaces
5. The handling of collisions, between
• Player’s score is incremented during
• The shorter the time it takes between
the acquisition of two objects, the
greater will be the score.
1. Points: studies at the University of Chicago show that
points are fantastic motivators and can be used to
reward users/students across multiple levels or
dimensions of a gamified activity.
2. Levels: these are often defined as point thresholds, so
the students (or users) can use them to indicate a
higher status and have access to bonus content.
3. Challenges, badges, achievements, and trophies: the
introduction of goals in an activity makes students
(users) feel like they are working toward a goal.
4. Leader boards or “high-score table”: in the context of
gamification, high-score tables are used to track and
display desired actions, using completion to drive
valued behavior. In VirtualSign score was based on
objects acquired and achievement times.
1. Gesture recognition using Kinect and Data Gloves
2. Gestures classifiers
3. Automatic Classification of Gestures
4. 3D avatar to represent text in PSL
5. Application chat
6. Serious Game for PSL
Game Application Issues
1. The high development costs and an uncertain market
make investment in educational games and innovations
too risky for producers;
2. Institutions resist adopting innovations and do not
want to make unnecessary changes and investments,
including the use of new technologies for learning;
3. Instructors, institutions and publishers do not
(traditionally) want to replace textbooks with
Game Application Issues
4. The value of specific educational technologies (games,
simulations, etc..) have not been proven in many cases;
5. Parents and teachers still have very negative attitudes
about the use of games in the classroom;
6. Games are especially suited to teach higher order skills
that are not typically assessed through examinations
(multitasking, decision-making, strategic vision, etc.);
7. Easy access to computers and the Internet cannot be
taken for granted in many educational institutions.
• Success in the development of a system that allows
the translation of textual content into sign language,
and the other way round, based on the use of data
gloves and the Kinect, to recognize the Portuguese
alphabet using automatic classification.
• Connected to this, the development of a gamification
framework and a game model aimed at teaching
Portuguese Sign Language showed to be viable
options in the design of a learning experience.