Math Game Prototyping Project

Digital game forms are increasingly used in educational contexts, and the potential of digital games to create significant learning impact is a huge growth area internationally. This project seeks to broker relationships in building game-driven learning tools to support math curricula in a network of interest across academic and private sector partners. As an approach for design research the design and development of games is recognized as offering a constructionist approach to creating new models for learning.

The objectives of this project are to formalize an existing relationship into a more closely framed collaboration and grant submission between project partners. The Math Games Project supports the start of an ongoing and larger research project. In interdisciplinary design teams, the students from OCAD U’s Game Design class were presented with the challenge of conceiving and developing a complete growth plan for virtual math games. The games would be built for mobile consoles (iPhone, Java-based phones) and for young students. The games considered the growing presence of technology in the educational environment and the potential to foster young students’ positive reception of math.

Project partners have committed resources in kind to this project e.g. JumpMath to provide subject expertise, content and context and pedagogic and cognitive expertise coming from The Hospital for Sick Kids (see below).


  • Build on existing expertise at OCAD for development of games and of mobile applications (iPhone, Java-based phones) through the collaboration between GamePlay Lab (Westecott)and Mobile Lab (Davila) at OCAD
  • Collaborate with University of Waterloo in researching user interaction with various game platforms, game play, and/or theming.
  • Engage broader base of partners in detailed scoping exercise.
  • The creation of an online resource of both relevant research and design material to seed future projects


  • Prototypes developed will be introduced to various elementary school classes.
  • Foster a working relationship with industry partners.
  • Feedback from the classes will be tracked by the Human Factors researchers at University of Waterloo.
  • Engage existing OCAD students in design process.

Background & Context

This funding will help the OCAD team collaborate and contribute to an interactive math pedagogy research initiative being developed with JumpMath (John Mighton).

This initiative seeks to find ways of creating engaging courses for students struggling with math in elementary school, high school and college as well as users outside of an educational context who wish to improve math skills. It involves a two-pronged approach that will translate existing curriculum, exercises, and workbooks developed by JumpMath as well as create new game modules that further a student's math learning outside of class time.

The project received early funding from the Corus Seed Grant, and will seek for continued funding from a variety of sources including SSHRC, NSERC and OCE.

Prototype Math Games

Images from OCAD U’s Game Design class
Image from OCAD U’s Game Design class
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 8:15pm

Multiplatform game distribution system for popular and experimental technologies (mgds-pet)

Transmedia gaming engages young people, creating an opportunity to bridge the experience between their virtual and physical lives. It is a popular but potentially costly undertaking.   Methods to facilitate authoring, publishing and distribution of cross platform distributed narratives have the potential to tap into a new gaming economy connecting TV, mobile and other platforms including entirely innovative wearable technologies. This proposed R&D collaboration will invent and deploy the 1) Multiplatform Game Distribution System for Popular and Experimental Technologies (MGDS-PET) – a new transmedia games development technology, as well as variety of experimental games interfaces and processes, including 2) Game Biometric Interfaces and 3) Wearable Game Technologies

These features will be developed, then applied to the commercial deployment of, Time Tremors – an internationally financed transmedia game currently in development.  Inherently cross platform in its conception, Time Tremors is a collection game in which players search for objects from history supposedly scattered throughout time and space, hidden, invisible to the human eye but detectable and collectable using a variety of mobile and online broadband technologies. The distribution of the Time Tremors game across delivery technologies, territories, time and geographical locations provides several challenges including incompatible hardware and infrastructure, varying software development environments, lack of standardized development tools and the need to distribute content across a diverse range of game platforms. MGDS-PETwill provide new technology to manage such production and integration. This project augments an existing transmedia production by enabling the addition of innovative new technology leveraging digital game and mobile broadband technologies including wearable, biosensor and location-based games with evolved game design metrics. The collaboration brings together research and industry partners from Canada and Brazil, with additional support, financing and market opportunities from the UK and Australia, to integrate diverse platforms creating a profitable, cohesive and global game experience. In addition to facilitating the release of Time Tremors, these new technologies will be commercialized as products in their own right. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - 5:00pm
Lab Member: 
Adam Tindale