Recognizing and interpreting emotions in a serious game

Serious gaming

A serious game in which children can train executive functions in an attractive way. Senior researcher Ben Elsendoorn presents in Rome at ATAD conference 2019, 19-21 september, how this works.

It is well-known that (young) children with communication problems such as a Developmental Language Disorder or hearing problems often fall short in their socio-communicative skills. One aspect that plays a part here is their difficulty in understanding emotions, how to express their own emotions and to understand the role emotions play in (successful) communication. 
At Kentalis two modules have been developed for training emotion perception. The modules are part of a serious game (BrainGame Brian, Van der Oord, 2014).

Two modules

One module focuses on training recognition of emotions in faces, both drawings from characters in the game as well as photographs of human beings, using a variety of exercises with increasing levels of difficulty as recognition scores improve. In the second module learners practise perception and meaning of emotions in a natural, recognizable situation.
The training consists of twenty-five sessions, each lasting approximately 30 – 40 minutes.
The various training tasks have been developed and tested with the participation of young learners who belong to the target group of future users. 


Ben Elsendoorn, Janet Wolters & Constance Vissers 
Kentalis Academy, Royal Dutch Kentalis, Sint-Michielsgestel, the Netherlands

Ben Elsendoorn