• Posted by Michael Wolf on
    Recycling education with an interactive floor projection game
  • The Recycling Floor projection Game educates players about different recyclable materials and how they can be identified. Located some thirty-eight kilometers north west of Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage was historically known as the ‘garden town’ of the Eastern Cape. Over the years, as its population has expanded, waste has become a visible problem in the area. From litter and river pollution to pressure on landfills, Uitenhage is no longer the green town of its past. The good news is that the umbrella development vehicle called the Uitenhage Despatch Development Initiative, or UDDI, has begun to change all this. The UDDI is essentially a task force of business, government, labour and community. They’ve recognized that a healthy economy is reliant on a healthy community. Together they are driving environmental awareness and social upliftment projects to support a steadily blossoming economy.
  • And the key is education. As part of a permanent exhibition in the Nelson Mandela Science Centre, the UDDI challenged Formula D interactive, a Cape Town based design company to design an edutainment application that teaches young people to separate waste and learn about the benefits of recycling. The Recycling Floor Projection Game helps to promote recycling and teach players fundamental concepts in a fun and interactive way. The Recycling Game educates players about different recyclable materials and how they can be identified. A large interactive image is projected onto the floor of the Nelson Mandela Bay Science Centre. Using a real broom, players sort different types of virtual waste items and sweep them into the correct waste containers in the corners of the projected image. Glass can be swept into the glass container, paper into the paper container and so forth.
  • Players’ movements are captured using infrared camera tracking technology. With each movement, the projection responds accordingly. For every correct placement, players score a point. The Recycling game is timed and players are encouraged to score as many points as possible in the set time limit. They literally have to think on their feet! Between each game are memorable audio ‘take-home messages’ about recycling facts and figures. When recycling is presented as a fun and exciting game, it becomes much more likely that players will return to their communities with valuable lessons on how to reduce their own waste. And hopefully, one of these days, real-world benefits of The Recycling Floor Projection Game will be seen in a cleaner, greener Uitenhage.