Accessible gaming

So my original idea was to create a game whereby children could understand emotions. This was inspired by Google glass and the ‘points game’ for eye contact. However, When using Wekinator, I would get many issues and errors with the different face expressions.

I thought about how I could get around this and the creative process involved, as well as the implications it may have for different users. For example, I could train weki with my face, using my smile, my angry face and my sad face, but different people with different faces might express these said emotions differently to me, so the idea, though a fun one, would have been a lengthy and buggy process in OpenFrameWorks.

So I looked into ways of making an interactive game using facial expressions that anyone can make and it wouldn’t look drastically different from one person to the next, so I re-trained Wek to make 2 gestures- an open mouth and a wide mouth.

The aim of the game is to move a basket left and right to catch happy emoji’s. I was inspired by Eyewriter,  an assistive technology piece that allows ALS patients to create font and graffiti with their eyes (more can be seen here) So using this concept, I was able to make a game with no bodily movements, so the user could use just their face to move the basket.

The process was lengthy, but only because I had to figure out the best way of making the emoji’s fall down, but also working on collision detection to affect the score. It was enjoyable and although there are several ways I could later explore and could further develop or change the code, I am glad that I explored OpenFrameWorks in this way.

Here is a video to with more about my inspirations and the creative process, as well as a live demo:

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