Study Mobile Phone Learning Game For Children Computer Science Essay

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There are many efforts to utilize the mobile phone as a computing platform in developing regions of the world. One effective approach is to build educational games for children in these regions. Mathematics is one of the most important subjects available to children at school, alongside reading and writing, providing them with basic knowledge that will be of practical value in adulthood. Considering that so many children now spend time on the computer as a form of entertainment, it is a natural step to try to combine the two for the benefit of our young ones. To see our children gaining some educational benefit from their time spent on the mobile is something we welcome as parents. This is especially so when we consider the number of young people being drawn into useless, time-consuming mobile phone gaming that has no educational value whatsoever.

Learning becomes more enjoyable if the subject is presented in a colorful and interesting way and this is one of the main earnings of the mobile phone game format. The options available in mobile phone math games are varied and can be chosen to suit the individual child on the basis of age or preference. The mobile phone games are designed to test the child and much of the instruction is presented in an interesting way. Kids are very funny little critters at the best times and can be highly comical. They usually are however used to being entertained and so the idea their homework seems dreary and a bit highly boring. The idea appears to be the farthest idea in their head. It becomes even harder if kids start to get left behind and can't seem to keep up of the rest of the year. As parents you are very much aware of how fundamental an excellent education is for their future. Everybody uses mathematics in all walks of life so it is crucial that your child somehow know how to work with math and how to interact with them. Because the planet uses math daily, it is crucial that your kids get to learn mathematics and how to function and naturally apply them. There are many brilliant options to do this by playing with them several entertaining math board games, card games and game sheets. This idea has been used as a way to successfully teach children time and time again.

Mobile phone math games the child will be taught to add up, to reinforce their starting skills, times, minus and share and the important skills of thoughts which are outside of the usual thought process. Get the cool math games, it may encourage your kids become one of the class leaders as well as allowing you to spend quality time with the children, the best of it all.

The type of mobile games and comparison others games are explained. Mobile games technology merits and demerits and technique will be studied highlighting in this paper.

Keywords: mobile phone, Java, Games, J2ME,

Introduction

Many educational games for mobile phones are aimed at the toddler market, because 3-5 year olds respond so well to imagery when they learn. When everything is in colorful game form, kids don't even know they are learning at all. You can match images together, read or listen to an object name, and then match the image. The great feature this game has over similar ones is that it has voice recognition, so your child can say their answer. The only downside is that it is a little basic, and won't challenge a toddler for very long.

We are at an inflection point for the use of mobile communication devices.[3] The release of new devices and applications, including the new Apple iPhone 3G, highlights the rapidly expanding interest in handheld devices that are both phones and computing capable. Our mobile telephones are evolving into platforms for collaboration, knowledge access and performance support. The MASIE Center is convinced that one the next frontiers will be designing learning and performance applications that fit naturally into our hands, pockets, purses and lives. We invite the learning field to think "out of the box" and take an evidence-based approach to exploring these capabilities.

The mobile phone learning grows louder with each day. Organizations no doubt recognize that mobile technology for learning has merit. Handheld devices have the potential to effectively "push" and "pull" information and deliver learning whenever/wherever employee needs arise. Yet, despite all the excitement and curiosity, few corporations have fully embraced mobile learning.[5] We are left wondering: when will corporate investments catch up with all the excitement? For what applications/ circumstances does mobile learning work? We are eager to see how mobile technologies will impact corporations globally. The potential is enormous. According to market research conducted by Ambient Insight, LLC. it is estimated that "corporate and Business expenditures for mobile learning products and services in the US alone will reach over $246.9 million by 2011." Their research indicates that the largest demand throughout the forecast period is for custom development services, content conversion, and media services and that the healthcare sector accounts for 20% of the total US market for mobile learning. In their 2008-2013 US Market for Mobile Learning Products and Services report to be released later this summer, Ambient Insight expects to revise their mobile learning forecasts further upward. Several factors point to an increasing commitment to mobile learning.

Recent years have seen the rise of mobile users with PDAs, laptops and particularly mobile phones. Worldwide there are over 2 billion mobile phone users [1] - roughly one third of the world's population. In South Africa alone there are 30 million mobile phone users [1] out of a population of 47 million. This pervasiveness of mobile devices has created a substantial market for mobile applications and games that continues to grow extremely rapidly. With so many mobile devices, it is crucial for a developer to target the right mobile platform and development environment, or a combination thereof. Portability across platforms will ensure the maximum target audience is reached. This is specifically important for mobile game development. The mobile game industry has firmly asserted itself as a significant industry with major development houses such as EA Mobile driving it forward. As such, it is possible to make some observations about the mobile game industry. Primarily, we will analyze which games have succeeded and which have failed, and determine why. In addition to the nature of the game, user input and hardware limitations also affect the success of a mobile game. A brief, yet concise, discussion will be conducted of two of the main, and current, environments for mobile game development will be conducted. The two environments under discussion are Java ME and Flash Lite. The APIs and features of these two development environments are explored in detail. Methods of deploying applications, as well as the future of Java ME and Flash Lite will be discussed. Finally, means of comparing - quantitatively and qualitatively - the development of mobile games on Flash Lite and Java ME will be discussed. This section looks at both the development phase, and the final game product of each environment.

Scope:

Mobile game industry is not going anywhere if continues to focus on creating smaller crappier versions of console games, or Hollywood brands Mobile games up until recently have been marketed as "time killers" as opposed to something worth participating with The value derived from playing mobile games will be social Actually it's a very natural progression for mobile games to move toward[6] social and educational games, much more natural if you think about it than the move of console games toward social games. For me, Halo 2 on the Xbox was more of a social game than it was a video game, We owned it for 2+ years and played for hundreds of hours, and most of it was against other people, it was a conduit through which we connected with people that we knew. Game consoles were game devices first, and social tool second, the mobile phone is a social device first and a game device second.[6]

Time Frame:

Project Objectives:

The objective of this project is to develop a game for a mobile phone that will be able to fulfill the following requirements:

The program must have some sort of interface

Where the user is presented with a math problem and they are able to interact with this math so as to find a solution.

• There must be some sort of system that allows the user to save multiple Mobile games. It should be possible to add new puzzles, delete old puzzles and store changes that the user makes to the puzzle board.

• There must be a puzzle solver that can successfully find the solution to genuine Mobile games.

• The game must have the ability to generate new puzzles on request.

• The program should have an appropriate user interface which allows the user to access all the previously described functions.

While mobile phone math games should not replace regular school work, they can be of some value in teaching children the basics of mathematics and this is something that will prove to be of benefit to them as the forge a career in the future.

Using them to help teach children the basics of mathematics can supplement the work they do within school hours and give the children a bit of fun with an educational touch.

The benefit of mobile phone math games is that they offer more than books in the eyes of children, with the option for interaction that is fun.

Project Outcomes:

Many educational games for mobile phones are aimed at the toddler market, because 2-5 year olds respond so well to imagery when they learn. When everything is in colorful game form, kids don't even know they are learning at all. After implement (CN 3061) this project would get Mobile Phone math learning games.

Hardware and software requirements:

Hardware Requirements: System requirements are the fundamental issue that needs to be looked at in order run a successfully installed system. Below are the specifications of the computer:-

Pentium 4,2.0Ghz CPU, 1GB Ram , Intel main board, network interface card, Hard disk: SATA 320GB,High performance AGP Card, Samsung SATA DVD-Rom, Samsung Monitor, Mouse with USB, GSM Modem, GSM based mobile Phone, ATX 360Watt Tower Casing, keyboard with USB.

Software Requirements: Microsoft .NET Framework SDK v2.0, Microsoft Visual Studio 2005, Java, j2me,MS SQL Server 2005,VB.Net, C#, Microsoft Project, Microsoft office and Operating system 9x.

Literature review:

As games have become more complex in terms of graphics, complexity, interaction and narrative, so a variety of genres have increasingly come to dominate the market. There is, however, no standard categorization of such games;[7] different stakeholders in the games industry, eg game outlets, developers, academics, web review sites, use taxonomy appropriate to their own audience. Such categorizations are discussed in Orwant (2000), who also illustrates the system employed by Herz (1997) which closely resembles that used by many in the contemporary games industry. There are major categories:

Action games - these can be sub categorized into shooting games, 'platform' games (so called because the players' characters move between onscreen platforms) and other types of games that are reaction-based

Adventure games - in most adventure games, the player solves a number of logic puzzles (with no time constraints) in order to progress through some described virtual world

Fighting games - these involve fighting computer-controlled characters, or those controlled by other players • puzzle games - such as Tetris

Role-playing games - where the human players assume the characteristics of some person or creature type,

Simulations - where the player has to succeed within some simplified GAMES

Strategy games - such as commanding armies within recreations of historical battles and wars.

Math games: Math games are a great way to encourage students of any age to learn various math concepts. Java games can be played in your browser without having to download them. Before playing, make sure you have the latest version of java by going to java.com.

Matho: This game combines bingo with math. It has several versions, including multiplication, addition and division. The bingo board has numbers on it like a regular bingo board, but instead of calling off numbers, the game presents you with a problem to solve (e.g., "5 x 11" for multiplication). You must solve the problem and then find that answer on your game board. You get "Matho" when you have five squares in a row. Matho is available at AplusMath. [8]

Fraction Decimal Conversion: Players must find conversion equivalents for fractions and decimals in this game. The game is played on a board made of 16 squares that have either a fraction or a decimal value written on them. Players must select the fraction and decimal squares that match in value. The "Start over" button can be clicked to refresh the board. The game can be found at Quia.[8]

Mobile Environments

With over 2 billion mobile phone users worldwide [1], there is a plethora of different mobile devices available, which operate on different platforms and have support for various application environments. There is significant variety among mobile devices both in terms of hardware capabilities and software support. According to Canalys [2], 64 million smart phones were shipped worldwide in 2006 - a 30% increase from 2005. This suggests the smart phone, or high-end device, market is growing rapidly and as a result the availability of high-end devices is increasing.[9]

Java Platform, Micro Edition (Java ME), previously known as J2ME, was developed by Sun Microsystems. It is a subset of the Java platform aimed at mobile devices.

Flash Lite was originally developed by Macromedia as a lightweight version of their Flash Player for mobile devices. Adobe acquisitioned Macromedia in 2005, and now continue to develop Flash Lite. Flash Lite is covered extensively in section 5 of this paper. In 2005 Nokia released PyS60, which is a Python interpreter for Symbian S60 devices. PyS60 includes many of the modules from regular Python implementations, as well as additional modules for interacting with the Symbian operating system. Python is often used in conjunction with other environments, such as Flash Lite or Java Me, to achieve a greater level of interaction with the underlying operating system[10].

.NET Compact Framework is a compact version of the Microsoft .NET Framework that is designed to run on mobile devices. The .NET Compact Framework includes some of the class libraries from the full framework. Applications can be created in Microsoft Visual Studio, and written in C# or Visual Basic .NET. These applications are run on a mobile-device specific just-in-time compiler.[11]

Mobile Gaming

Mobile gaming started with Snake in 1997 on the monochrome display of a Nokia 6110 [11]. Since then, improvements in hardware and game development have altered the user experience dramatically. An understanding of who currently plays and purchases mobile games is vital when designing and developing mobile games.

Figure 1: Ratio of mobile phone user children

In Figure 1, This graph shown many Japanese children use mobile phone within 4-6 years child and Figure 2 graph shown whats type of function used children, In game purpose children used mobile phone 53.3%.

Figure 2: How do Japanese children use mobile phone

Figure 1 & Figure 2 Image Source: http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/22/31/41554474.pdf

Today, however, researchers, teachers and designers of learning resources are beginning to ask how this powerful new medium might be used to support children's learning.

There are two key themes common to the development of games for education, namely:

1 The desire to harness the motivational power of games in order to 'making learning fun'.

2 A belief that 'learning through doing' in games such as simulations offers a powerful learning tool.

Research Methodology:

The information data were collected in various ways, including a literature review, books, journal, digital media and web sites.

Proposed problem:

Mobile games tend to be small in scope and often rely on good game play over flashy graphics, due to the lack of processing power of the client devices. One major problem for developers and publishers of mobile games is describing a game in such detail that it gives the customer enough information to make a purchasing decision. Currently, Mobile Games are mainly sold through Network Carriers / Operators portals and this means there are only a few lines of text and perhaps a screen shot of the game to excite the customer. Two strategies are followed by developers and publishers to combat this lack of purchasing information, firstly there is a reliance on powerful brands and licenses that impart a suggestion of quality to the game such as Tomb Raider or Colin McRae and secondly there is the use of well known and established play patterns game play mechanics that are instantly recognizable such as Tetris, Space Invaders or Poker.

Analysis:

Mathematics is one of the most important subjects available to children at school, alongside reading and writing, providing them with basic knowledge that will be of practical value in adulthood. Considering that so many children now spend time on the computer as a form of entertainment, it is a natural step to try to combine the two for the benefit of our young ones. To see our children gaining some educational benefit from their time spent on the computer is something we welcome as parents. This is especially so when we consider the number of young people being drawn into useless, time-consuming online gaming that has no educational value whatsoever.[12]

Couples of points worth highlighting are:

Mobile game industry is not going anywhere if continues to focus on creating smaller crappier versions of console games, or Hollywood brands

Mobile games up until recently have been marketed as "time killers" as opposed to something worth participating with

The value derived from playing mobile games will be social

Java ME

The CLDC targets devices with very limited resources, such as cell phones, while the CDC is designed to target devices with slightly more resources, such as set-top boxes. The minimum requirements for the CLDC 1.1 are a 16 bit CPU, 160 KB memory available to the virtual machine, and a limited network connection.[13]

The most common profile is the Mobile Information Device Profile (MIDP), which is aimed at mobile devises such as cell phones. Currently MIDP 1.0 and MIDP 2.0 are available, while MIDP 3.0 is being developed. Java ME applications developed for an MID Profile are called MIDlets

Optional packages, such as Java APIs for Bluetooth, Mobile 3D Graphic, and JBDC can be added to MIDlets to offer greater functionality at the cost of being more device-specific. The ability to utilise these optional packages is where the maturity of Java ME is noticeable, with many APIs designed specifically for game development [14].

Deployment

A MIDlet is typically deployed as a single Java Archive (JAR) file containing all the class files and resources. A JAR file is used to contain compiled Java classes, associated metadata and resources pertaining to a certain application. Within the JAR file is the Manifest file which contains the metadata for the application.[15] A Java Application Descriptor (JAD) file usually accompanies the JAR file. The contents of the JAD file is essentially the same as the Manifest file. The JAD file allows the user to view the details of a MIDlet without having to download the whole file. The Over-The-Air distribution model allows MIDlets to be served from existing web servers, which can be accessed directly from cell phones though the device's built in web browser,[15] if it has one.

Future of Java ME

According to Java Specification Request 271 [19], MIDP 3.0 plans to build upon the success of MIDP 2.0 by enhancing certain aspects of the profile and adding new features. Some of these enhancements include:

Better support for devices with larger displays.

Enable MIDlets to draw to secondary display(s).

Enable richer and higher performance games.

IPv6.

Multiple network interfaces per device.

Enable shared libraries for MIDlets.

Enable background MIDlets (e.g. UI-less).

Enable 'auto-launched' MIDlets (e.g. started at platform boot time).

Enable inter-MIDlet communications.

With these enhancements and continued interest and support for Java ME, it is likely that Java ME will continue to be one of the main mobile game environments.

Conclusion

In this paper, we discussed mobile environments - the platforms and application environments - and how, for mobile game development, portability is the key to reaching the largest possible market. Java ME suited to mobile game development as it is portable, and both environments are supported on many platforms. It was found that certain game genres have achieved more success than others in mobile gaming. This can be attributed mainly to the limited resources available on mobile devices, as well limited user input through the small keys on mobile phones. Games that have achieved success have been

easily controllable and relatively slow in nature, math games. The specifics of Java ME were discussed. Details of the APIs available development environment were listed. Methods of deploying applications, and future developments of environments were also considered. The game development-specific optional packages available to Java ME demonstrate the maturity of the platform, as well as the large community support base for Java ME game development Methods for comparing mobile game development on Java ME were investigated. We have built a game on this platform based on a real-life physical game, we have seen a more competitive nature encouraged by our game, and allowing each player their own phone only allowed them to be isolated while competing. We note that approaches to the game differ between demographics and suggest explanations and implications for design.

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