CALANGOS level 4: The environmental influence on the players' strategy in a simulation of the ecological and evolutionary level of the game

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Data de publicação
Brazilian Symposium on Games and Digital Entertainment, SBGAMES
Citações (Scopus)
Izidoro V.N.L.
De Castro L.N.
Loula A.C.
El-Hani C.N.
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Calangos is an educational videogame about ecology and evolution for high school students. The game is based on the fauna and flora of a desert-like field of the sand dunes in the middle São Francisco River, located inside the Caatinga biome. One of the player's goals is to manage the behavior of species of lizards that inhabit this biome, with consequences to their ecology and evolution. In this paper, we report functional aspects of the game, the features that have been developed until the present time and, mainly, the initial results concerning the game level (Level 4) in which the players will deal with the evolution of the lizards simulated in Calangos. More specifically, a simulator for Level 4 was developed and a genetic algorithm was used in order to understand what types of strategies a player may use in environments with different levels of difficulties. It was observed that favorable environments (with sufficient food and slow predators) may easily lead to an explosion in the number of lizards within the environment, hostile environments (with little food and very fast predators) lead to an extinction of lizards, no matter what strategy a player may adopt, and a balanced environment (with sufficient food and fast predators) lead to suitable survival strategies. These results are very important, from an educational point of view, because they show that there are situations in which the students will be challenged to devise survival strategies (based on an ecological and evolutionary basis) and succeed, but there will also be cases in which students will fail, no matter how good their strategy is. This failure due to hostile environments will be understood by the students if they succeeded in grasping the key concepts of ecology and evolution embodied in Calangos. © 2011 IEEE.
Assuntos Scopus
Caatinga , Educational game , Environmental influences , evolution , Evolutionary computing , Functional aspects , High school students , Hostile environments , Level 4 , Sand dunes , Video game
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