Animal Hero Universe - Because you can also learn by playing

Original Title: Animal Hero Universe - Because you can also learn by playing
Country: Spain
Category: Smart Learning
Project team: Silvia Quera González, Aniol Batallé Pararols, Vanessa Pujol Simón, Anna Vila-Clara Aguilar, Alba Bosacoma Fernandes, Yolanda Peregrin,

Animal Hero Universe is a transmedia project for children with Down Syndrome (DS) composed of a Kinect video game, a documentary with testimonials, a children’s book, an Ipad video game and a website. Animal Hero’s core is a video-game set in a distant future when the Earth’s population has migrated to another planet. Hero, the main character, is a 11 year-old boy who returns to recover his pet, Axel, who stayed behind. A tablet game for younger children is about Hero and Axel’s childhood, when they lived together on Earth. Through games and books in the Animal Hero Universe, exercises reinforce cognitive skills such as memory, sustained attention, divided attention, executive functions, and so on. Working in close collaboration with medical specialists, Animal Hero provides the cognitive stimulation that benefits children with DS most, by helping to improve their autonomy and to apply the skills learned to real life. The games are also interesting and immersive to children without disability, so that all kids have a good time together, understanding each other better as they play.

Jury Evaluation:

“Animal Hero Universe is a creative transmedia concept for challenging target group, children with Down syndrome. This project shows us that “Serious Gaming” doesn’t have to be only serious. The story of Hero and his pet Axel can be explored with videogames, books and cards, each telling different parts of their Universe. The team knows how to combine the possibilities of immersive storytelling and interactivity via different tools, and they have developed and designed this world with goals and tasks in collaboration with specialists. I am looking forward for some improvements with visual design and soundscapes though.
Target group are children with DS to improve their skills but the games, cards and books are interesting and immersive also to children without disability. I find this aspect very important – all kids can play and have good time together, it helps them to understand each other. This project shows how effective and fun learning process can be with transmedia.” – EYA Grand Jury Report

Please note that all data refer to the time of winning the Award.