Multiple Mice to Enhance Learning

In developing regions, most children never use a computer without sharing it. Engineers have developed educational games that work more effectively in this model, giving each child a mouse and some autonomous control in the game.  However, an enormous amount of existing content that is woven into the curriculum assumes just one user and one input. Metamouse attempts to bridge this divide by allowing multiple players to share existing content with multiple mice. Basic single-user interaction primitives such as point-and-click and drag-and-drop are re-imagined in a multi-user paradigm. Recent variations were developed in a two-month-long design study conducted in low-income government schools in Bangalore, India, where CITRIS researchers developed new interaction techniques that not only translated traditional single-mouse actions into group actions, but did so in a way that minimized frustration and improved basic mouse skills for all users.