Evolution detective

Evolution detective

A game-based application to help children 7 years and above explore the question "why do we all look physically different?", in order to combat racism.

Evolution Detective (ED) is an interactive, digital storytelling app to address the global issue of racism by helping children 7 years and above explore the question — “why do we all look physically different from each other?” The app utilises Darwinian
evolution theory, discovery-based pedagogy, storytelling, gaming and modern design to narrate the great human journey that began 100,000 years ago from east Africa to other parts of the world.

The journey would start in Eastern Africa (cradle of civilisation). The primary goal of the user is to successfully lead their avatars through all mapped migration routes along the human evolutionary journey. Users complete a level successfully when they are able to help the avatars adapt to the environment in the new geographic location by optimising their health. On accomplishing the goals, the user will be rewarded with evolution badges. Each new environment will be presented as a locked badge, that unlocks upon selecting an evolutionary trait that helps their avatar survive. The users will also have an opportunity to go back in time to see which physical characteristic changed because of which geographic location, and these are the subconscious learning outcomes that they can refer to anytime in the app. The more they use the app, the easier it becomes to relate environmental effects with physical changes in the avatar’s body.

The team included 2 designers and a geneticist, and we received a concept grant from AVEK Ry to develop this concept.

Keywords: Concept design, human genetics, Darwinian evolution, children app