IIT-B students develop innovative games for all ages | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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IIT-B students develop innovative games for all ages

mumbai Updated: Jul 02, 2011 01:59 IST
HT Correspondent

The game is a tangram where you piece together a shape. The twist is that the four players are blindfolded when they compete with each other to finish the tangram the fastest.

Those watching the game in progress will only see hands flaying about grappling for the bright neon pieces by people wearing equally bright blindfolds.

‘Feel-fill-fit’ is one of the games that will be auctioned on July 7 at the Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay (IIT-B). Developed by students from the institute’s Industrial Design Centre (IDC) and electrical engineering department, more than 14 games will be thrown open to toy manufacturers and game developers as part of the auction.

“The idea is to invent new playing possibilities. Traditionally, games for children were a matter of chance determined by a throw of dice, but we have designed games that educate and enhance social interaction,” said Professor Uday Athavankar from IDC. “With China taking over the toy industry, there is a need to make innovative games here and the most important part is to have innovative game design and game play.”

Breaking the stereotype of games being confined to traditional boards with dice, these electronic and board games involve strategic thinking, problem solving, dexterity and talent analysis. For example, Cric-Tric develops crocket specific strategic thinking and Wobble and Over-the-top test the sense of balance.

The market for educative games opened up six years ago when Funskool, a toy manufacturing company, bought six games developed by IIT-B students. Students design these games as part of a 15-day elective course offered by the institute. To better their games, students call in a panel of experts: a bunch of children from the neighbourhood. The children play the games and give them their feedback.

“Creating a game can be very frustrating and tiresome. We end up playing a game at least 100 times to fine tune the rules and structure of the game. The children, of course, bring in the sensitivity that we tend to lose as we grow older,” said Ruchin Shah, a student who has designed one of the games that will go on auction.