EyeMath: Identifying Mathematics Problem Solving Processes in a RTS Video Game

  • Aura Hernández-Sabaté
  • Lluís AlbarracínEmail author
  • Daniel Calvo
  • Núria Gorgorió
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10056)


Video games are promising tools in educational environments since they have features that can promote learning in a playful environment. Formerly, we identified mathematics learning opportunities in a real time strategy video game. Going further, in order to precisely understand which information the students use to solve the challenges provided by the video game, this paper presents an eye tracker based tool to identify processes of mathematics problem solving while playing the game. The first preliminary results show the potential of the tool to further identify metacognitive and mathematics problem solving processes.


Mathematics education Problem solving Eye-tracker Image processing Tower defense 


  1. 1.
    Gros, B.: Digital games in education: the design of games-based learning environments. J. Res. Technol. Educ. 40(1), 23–38 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Charsky, D.: From edutainment to serious games: a change in the use of game characteristics. Games Cult. 5(2), 177–198 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hernández-Sabaté, A., Joanpere, M., Gorgorió, N., Albarracín, L.: Mathematics learning opportunities when playing a tower defense game. Int. J. Ser. Games 2(4), 57–71 (2015)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Dickey, M.D.: Engaging by design: how engagement strategies in popular computer and video games can inform instructional design. Educ. Technol. Res. Dev. 53(2), 67–83 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Connolly, T.M., Boyle, E.A., MacArthur, E., Hainey, T., Boyle, J.M.: A systematic literature review of empirical evidence on computer games and serious games. Comput. Educ. 59(2), 661–686 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bellotti, F., Berta, R., De Gloria, A., Zappi, V.: Exploring gaming mechanisms to enhance knowledge acquisition in virtual worlds. In: Proceedings of the 3rd international conference on Digital Interactive Media in Entertainment and Arts, pp. 77–84. ACM (2008)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Rosas, R., Nussbaum, M., Cumsille, P., Marianov, V., Correa, M., Flores, P., Grau, V., Lagos, F., López, X., López, V., et al.: Beyond nintendo: design and assessment of educational video games for first and second grade students. Comput. Educ. 40(1), 71–94 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ke, F.: A case study of computer gaming for math: engaged learning from gameplay? Comput. Educ. 51(4), 1609–1620 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Clark, D.B., Martínez-Garza, M.: Prediction and explanation as design mechanics in conceptually integrated digital games to help players articulate the tacit understandings they build through game play. In: Games, learning, and society: Learning and meaning in the digital age. Cambridge University Press (2012)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kiili, K., Devlin, K., Perttula, T., Tuomi, P., Lindstedt, A.: Using video games to combine learning and assessment in mathematics education. Int. J. Ser. Games 2(4), 37–55 (2015)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Pope, H., Mangram, C.: Wuzzit trouble: the influence of a digital math game on student number sense. Int. J. Ser. Games 2(4), 1–18 (2015)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Mele, M.L., Federici, S.: Gaze and eye-tracking solutions for psychological research. Cogn. Process. 13(1), 261–265 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Khushaba, R.N., Wise, C., Kodagoda, S., Louviere, J., Kahn, B.E., Townsend, C.: Consumer neuroscience: assessing the brain response to marketing stimuli using electroencephalogram (EEG) and eye tracking. Expert Syst. Appl. 40(9), 3803–3812 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ekman, I.M., Poikola, A.W., Mäkäräinen, M.K.: Invisible eni: using gaze and pupil size to control a game. In: CHI 2008 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 3135–3140. ACM (2008)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Yan, S., El-Nasr, M.S.: Visual attention in 3d video games. In: Proceedings of the 2006 Symposium on Eye Tracking Research and Applications, pp. 42–42. ACM (2006)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Frutos-Pascual, M., García-Zapirain, B., Mehdi, Q.H.: Where do they look at? Analysis of gaze interaction in children while playing a puzzle game. In: 2015 IEEE Computer Games: AI, Animation, Mobile, Multimedia, Educational and Serious Games (CGAMES), pp. 103–106 (2015)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kinzer, C.K., Turkay, S., Hoffman, D.L., Gunbas, N., Chantes, P., Chaiwinij, A., Dvorkin, T.: Examining the effects of text and images on story comprehension: an eye-tracking study of reading in a video game and comic book. In: Literacy Research Association Yearbook, vol. 61, pp. 259–275 (2012)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kiili, K., Ketamo, H., Kickmeier-Rust, M.D.: Eye tracking in game-based learning research and game design. Int. J. Ser. Games 1(2), 51–65 (2014)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Vector Tower Defense 2. Accessed 25 July 2016
  20. 20.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aura Hernández-Sabaté
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lluís Albarracín
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  • Daniel Calvo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Núria Gorgorió
    • 3
  1. 1.Computer Vision CenterUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Didàctica de la Matemàtica i de les Ciències ExperimentalsUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.Serra Húnter FellowUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

Personalised recommendations