Dr. Sergio Escalera, CVC researcher has been involved in the project Xbadges. It is a research Project in ‘reverse gamification’ to validate and certify the development of soft skills with the use of telemetry elements inserted in commercial videogames. Furthermore, it allows us to capture and identify the user’s facial expressions in order to determine the emotional features involved in the learning process. The project is directed by Barcelona based company Compartia (specialized in gamification for business) and has counted with the Human Pose Recovery and Behaviour Analysis Group of Barcelona University and the Computer Vision Center, as well as the Foundation dedicated to learning and gamification GECON.es.
We talk of gamification when an organisation tries to trigger a behavioural change through an experience with a ludic character. However, reverse gamification happens when we try to infer the types of social, cultural and economic impact which is already being generated by culture and the videogame industry. In this project we are using reverse gamification for this same purpose.
In xBadges we try to identify and evaluate soft skills, competences that OCDE organisations or the World Economic Forum have highlighted as increasingly necessary to affront the Digital society challenges: persistence, risk perception and spatial comprehension, for example, are some of them. Currently, we don’t have the analytical tools necessary to detect them in the educational/formative materials that are being used.
As an example, we could say that xBadges would have an important role in the hiring of two professionals which are applying for a same position but have an identical academic background, how to know whom to hire? In this situation, competences such as team work or creativity could mark the difference in the selective process. A possible scenario would be that one of the two applicants has certifications for these competences and, therefore, more possibilities of obtaining the post. That person would have achieved those certificates by playing with its favourites videogames connected with xBadges.
xBadges is currently a demonstrative prototype. It is allowing us to scientifically evidence that some commercial videogames (not serious games) are helping people develop such competences. On the other hand, and due to the facial tracking that is taking place whole game session, we can recognise the emotions involved in the development of different competences.
xBadges is equipped with an artificial vision module which is able to recognise the user’s emotions, a tracking engine that allows us to analyse what is happening within the game (currently available in HTML5 games) and a system of algorithms to relate the tracking in-game with the identification of transversal competences developed by the player. Once the player has demonstrated the acquisition or development of a specific competence, a certificate with an Open Badge format is sent (a digital standard certificate of the Mozilla Foundation).
The xBadges concept is being tried out in the field of mental health and eSports, where the evaluation, acquisition and training of competences are crucial processes.
In the media:
La Vanguardia, 22/03/2017, 'Un proyecto validará el aprendizaje a través de los videojuegos comerciales'.