The MINDful Play Environment (MPE), an acronym for Motion-tracking, INteractive Deliberation, is a performance-installation piece, driven by motion tracking technology, in which three people interact with one another and media elements like video, animation, music, lights, and spoken word. An educational environment created by Dene Grigar (Washington State University Vancouver, Digital Technology and Culture Program), Steve Gibson (University of Vancouver, Canada, Digital Media Program), Justin Love (Limbic Media Corporation), and Jeannette Altman (Washington State University Vancouver, Fine Arts Program), it is intended to look or feel game-like, yet in a way that is both playful and mindful.
The overall project goal is to investigate if media-rich, interactive environments that encourage kinesthesia can be utilized effectively for learning, particularly high-level math and science and language skills. In terms of math and science skills, we want to know if users can better understand 3D triangulation and spatial mapping through their experience in MPE; of language, we want to know if users can improve word choice, organization, and ideas/content through their experience in MPE. It is our premise that by enacting coordinates and space or compositional strategies, users will embody knowledge and, so, learn these concepts through muscle memory and what Simon Penny's calls "[un]conscious decision making" (82).
We invite you to read about the project so that you can see the way in which the MINDful Play Environment can potentially change the way we teach and impact students' success with learning. It also has the potential of altering current views of education that compartmentalize rather than combine art/performance, science/math, and the humanities for teaching higher level thinking skills.