Improving Africa’s Recycling Mind-Set, One Child at a Time Through Mobile Gaming

Adeoye Olukayode Simeon
Adeoye Olukayode Simeon

Recycling is gradually gaining grounds in Ghana. In light of this, it is imperative that children be taught and learn how to practice recycling wherever they find themselves. In light of this Simeon Adoeye, a Computer Science student at the Valley View University decided to develop an augmented reality mobile game that would encourage children of different ages to recycle and at the same time have fun.

Picture of Virtual Bottle superimposed unto the real world
Picture of Virtual Bottle superimposed unto the real world

Augmented Reality is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user's view of the real world, thus providing a composite view. The game merges the real world environment to a virtual world and makes users interact with the new environment.  The game has two modes: the AR Mode and endless runner mode.

Various Recycling option after capturing the item
Various Recycling option after capturing the item

In AR Mode, the phone’s camera is powered on and what the user sees is his real world with a super-imposition of a virtual world and a plastic bottle or piece of paper which the user is required to use virtual hands to catch and throw in a recycle bin for plastics.

To make the game more interesting, Simeon added an endless runner game feature (similar to Temple Run) where the in-game character runs around the city picking up plastic bottles.

3 Avatar used in endless run mode
3 Avatar used in endless run mode

Simeon Share his experience whiles working on the game, “Working on this project made me dive into a different aspect of programming, which in general terms is called game development, where it’s all about manipulating physics, graphical modelling and animation work.”

Game in endless run mode
Game in endless run mode

 

A real-life application of the game is that, it being a persuasive tool, it can be used to pass across the various ways of recycling or proper disposal of waste.

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