In the age of new technologies, coexistence is still an unresolved task. Different religions, culture or gender are sometimes the focus of misunderstandings and conflicts between human beings including entire nations.
Live LEGO house is an interactive game in which the mutual coexistence matters. Education in this area can be applied for all ages. Nevertheless adults are mainly encouraged to play, as basically they are the ones building barriers against coexistence.
Click HERE to download the LIVE LEGO HOUSE report done by Cristina (7.7mb)
A LEGO house is enriched with multimedia files (sounds, videos and 3D animations) by means of the Augmented Reality technology (MXRToolKit). Two dolls have to coexist, each of them having different characteristics and needs.
The game can be divided in the following steps:
1. Construct your own house: use your imagination and creativity to build a house within the LEGO blocks.
2. Tell the program where the objects are: this is called the calibration process. Simply by pressing some buttons on a prepared keyboard you tell the pc how your house is arranged.
3. Explore the matters of coexistence and try to solve them wisely: you will discover how to play having into account your fellow’s character.
Figure 1: (a) Legoman is having a shower while legowoman is sleeping; (b) Legowoman is sitting quiet while legoman is sleeping.
About media files:
• Animated 3D dolls: Legoman and legowoman (including animation) are build within the program 3D Studio Max and exported as VRML objects. Animation includes dancing (when doll has the radio on), sitting down (when doll reaches the table), etc.
• Sounds: sound media files are mainly taken from the web page http://recursos.cnice.mec.es/bancoimagenes/sonidos/index.php. These are a set of free media files from the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science thought for education purposes. Between others, these sounds are included in the game: falling water, singing in the shower, tuning the radio, telephone ring, snoring, laughing, etc.
• Videos: video media files are going to be recorded with the ‘coexistence’ thematic. One of the major characteristics of Singapore is the achieved coexistence of people with very different religions. For example: a Hindu Temple can be found in Chinatown; all kind of food is offered at the stalls of a single hawker center; different traditions are respected; different languages are in use with the English as link; etc. These and other facts will be recorded.
About interaction doll-to-doll:
• Different media files are going to be activated depending on the actions of each doll. Previous actions do condition further actions. This fact gives a ‘surprise’ element, what will make the game more interesting.
• Proximity of dolls has also influence: for example, when both of them are watching TV, a program that delights both of them should be seen. When one of the dolls is sleeping, the other should not make too much noise.
• One of the great advantages of the MXRToolKit compared with other marker based programs is the facility to build applications and mix different kind of media files, even with low skills in programming. Thus this program was found to be suited to build the game.
• Nevertheless, different media files are normally associated to different markers. This makes normally difficult to use a huge number of media files due to the growing amount of markers, and thus the increasing difficulty for the system to discern between them. This problem has been solved by the use of ‘virtual’ markers. This is possible because the camera is fix with respect to the objects that are associated with markers (out of the dolls). A calibration process is necessary where the rotation and translation matrices of the virtual markers are built, which will remain unchanged during the game.
Cristina Portales, Adrian David Cheok