Collective gaming gives the elderly person a chance to interact with other users of the VITAS platform by allowing them to join in with applications that are available to all. The term collective gaming simply means that any user can start an application and play but the score or achievement level is recorded and available for others to see and compare against.

Each game in the collective gaming category is designed to improve the cultural level of the participants, increase their desire to compete with other users and encourage participation and contacts with other users.

A multi-player quiz has been implemented in the form of a simple questions and answers game, specifically designed to be used through the UCH and displayed via the UiTV on a user’s Television.

Architecture

 

GamesArch

 

Collective gaming applications retrieve data via the UCH and UiTV. All text material relating to the games is relayed to the user interface (UiTV) via the Target Adapter in the UCH. This data is updated as required when the user navigates through the application.

The Target Adapter may also return URL’s for audio, video or image media to the UI. The UI uses the Microsoft Windows Media Player API therefore the URL points to compatible files via the following streaming protocols.

 

  • Microsoft Media Services (MMS)
  • Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP)
  • Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)

 

A fail-over mechanism is built into the media server which will switch the streaming protocol if the attempted protocol fails in the order listed above.

Multiple users can view the same data at the same time. Updates to the data are made when a user initiates a change and are immediately available to other gamers for viewing.

Quiz Application

 

GamesApp

 

The Quiz Main menu has been kept very simple and is easy to navigate. There are only three selections available:

 

  • Play Quiz
  • Quiz Scores
  • Quiz Help

 

A user can navigate the menu using the left and right arrows of the remote. To enter a particular selection the user clicks OK on the remote.

The application displays a question and four possible answers. The user must choose one of the answers. Every time the correct answer is chosen the users score is increased by one. Every time the answer is incorrect their score is decreased by one.

The Play screen is made up of several sections:

 

  • The Question
  • Four possible answers
  • A background image to indicate the Theme of the current question.

 

The user selects their answer by moving up or down through the displayed answers. There is no time limit to the question as some older persons may have difficulty either reading the question or may feel rushed or pressured into choosing an answer before they are ready.

The game is open to multiple simultaneous players. Every player plays against every other player and the ranking of the best players is dynamically updated after each question has been answered.

Each time a quiz is played a new set of questions and answers are selected randomly from the VITAS central database. Depending upon the amount of quiz content, the user should rarely see the same question repeated. If a question is repeated then, because of the design of the play screen, the user may well have learned the correct answer and can get the question correct even if they were incorrect in a previous attempt.

 

VITAS and the VITAL project were co-financed by the European Commission.

EU