IIT Madras Students Develop Multilingual Digital Game To Create COVID-19 Awareness
IIT Madras Covid-19 Awareness Game: The digital game takes inspiration from the popular 'Super Mario' game and is available in Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil and Telugu, besides English.
Students of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras have developed an online game “IITM Covid Game” to create awareness among the general public, especially children, on the importance of following governmental precautions to safeguard themselves against coronavirus in several Indian languages. The IITM Covid Game can be accessed from the home page of www.letsplaytolearn.com. It is also available in the website of IIT Madras under https://dost.iitm.ac.in/iitmdost/pages/game-corner. This IITM Covid Game is a browser-based game and can be played on devices including personal computers, laptops, tablets and mobile phones.
As per a statement issued by IIT Madras, this game has been developed by the students of the institute who took a nine-credit elective course called ‘Let’s Play To Learn’ offered during the January-May 2020 semester. As part of the elective course -- Let’s Play To Learn -- students were taught game-based learning tools and techniques.
Professor Preeti Aghalayam, Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT Madras, and Mr Kartic Vaidyanathan, Founder, LetsPlayToLearn and an IIT Madras Alumnus (BTech -- Mechanical Engineering, 1996), were the co-facilitators for this general elective course.
The digital game takes inspiration from the popular 'Super Mario' game and is available in Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil and Telugu, besides English. The developers of the game plan to make the game available in more regional languages in the future.
Highlighting about the unique aspects of this game-based approach to creating awareness, Professor Aghalayam said: “The full credit for this game goes to our students. It is a matter of great pride for me that they conceived this, at a time when the world was reeling under the pandemic. The IITM Covid game is a small but very meaningful and engaging contribution, and it clearly exhibits how thoughtful and aware our students are!”
The IIT Madras statement issued in this regard said: “The students who took the course ‘Let’s Play To Learn’ team felt the need to not only spread awareness but also convey the message in a fun-filled method, applying their learnings in this elective.”
It further added: “The game takes inspiration from the famous ‘Super Mario’ game and consists of a character who encounters various right things – like masks, washing hands and also encounters things to be avoided – like hugs, handshakes. As the character does the right things, points keep getting added. If the character fails to avoid a wrong thing, points get deducted to highlight the consequence. The game goes on for 1 minute and the players should aim for maximum points.”