Wondermind

Wondermind

Release Date: November 4th, 2011

Developer: Preloaded

Travel through Wonderland with Alice to learn how the human brain works.

TOTAL SCORE (PLAYERS):

7.5

Play the Game:

Click here

 

Wondermind is a unique suite of mini-games and interactive films for children aged 8-12, designed to illustrate the neuroscience of the growing brain in child development in simple, fun ways. The games aim to encourage an understanding of core aspects of neuroscience, including neural plasticity, spatial cognition, memory and language.
The games are imbued with the essence of Lewis Caroll’s timeless story and feature some of the classic characters. Quests include searching for the Cheshire Cat in an increasingly complex maze using reflected light; catching the White Rabbit whilst trying to keep untrodden paths from growing over; and making sure the Mad Hatter serves the right type of tea to his eccentric guests. The games use familiar and engaging mechanics to convey basic neuroscience concepts to a non-scientific audience.

Wondermind also includes a series of interactive videos created by award winning director Martin Percy that allow players to have conversations with scientists currently working in the field. An associated blog provides a wealth of additional information and artworks for children to discover.

Wondermind was developed in close collaboration with scientists currently working in the field; led by Michelle de Hann, Reader in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience at the UCL Institute of Child Health. The project was developed in close collaboration with Tate Online, and was funded by the Wellcome Trust.

Funder:
Wellcome Trust

Press:
Edge Magazine
Develop

Contact:
Preloaded, Natalie Lambert, Natalie@preloaded.com, +44 (0) 20 7684 3505
Tate, Rachel Skelton, Press Officer, Tate Liverpool, Rachel.Skelton@tate.org.uk

Trailer:

Screenshot:

  1. 8
    ejvalek
    Total Game Reviews: 1

    Wondermind is a game inspired by the story of "Alice in Wonderland" to provide young children with information on how the brain works. The game is split into four different areas of the brain, each of which is given a theme from the adventures of Alice and made into a relevant puzzle game. The games are intertwined with videos providing information on what cognitive skills the player is using during the game, and also provides trivia questions on the lessons (I actually learned a few things I didn’t know!).

    For example, the frontal lobe (The Hedgemaze) has the player position mirrors in a hedgemaze so that a flashlight will bounce off of them to hit a target. The lesson fused into the game teaches children how the hippocampus develops our sense of direction and how we project mirror-image sensory abilities.

    The other areas of the game are the forest (a game of finding the best paths through minor obstacles to reach a target, represents how messages are sent from neurons to the synapses), the tea party (rearranging tubes to send a current of tea to several different cups, represents our ability to distinguish sounds in various languages) and the garden (a game of memory, finding a pair of cards hidden among several). Each of these games gives points based on how fast the player solves the puzzles, and a time constraint is placed to give a bit of a sense of conflict for the player.

    Wondermind is essentially an interactive education video with games spliced in to appeal to children. The fact it’s based on the famous Alice stories adds a level of relatability to the player and keeps them engrossed in how the videos apply the lessons to young children. I think it is a pretty effective teaching tool, and I was genuinely interested in some of the little facts about the human brain I’d either forgotten or never knew myself.

    As far as the games were concerned, they were fairly straightforward and not particularly created for challenge, so much as pushing the educationa

  2. 8
    LeahTribbett
    Total Game Reviews: 1

    The game "Wondermind" is a themed by "Alice in Wonderland". The objective of the game I played was to be able to match the correct suit and number (deck of cards). The player is under a time clock to find matches of the same suit/number. The rules are very straight forward. If you don’t match the cards up in the amount of time given, you lose. As this game is clearly aimed towards younger kids (age 7-9), it get’s their brain working and strengthens their memorization skills. There is no clear "moral of the game" or anything of that matter, but just to beat the clock and match up the cards. I think it’s a great game for younger kids. It has a competitive aspect to it that people yearn for. Being crunched under the time clock not knowning if you’re going to succeed makes the game 10x more exciting. The great thing about this game is that it is also educational. I think the player is really going to take away a sense of accomplishment after completed the game, as well as (as i mentioned before) stronger memorization skills.
    One thing that bothered me was the background music. Because younger kids are going to be playing this, I found the music to be rather creepy. I know that Alice in Wonderlad is a strange and abstract story, but I didn’t think the producers did a good job in that area.
    Salen and Zimmerman’s definition of critical play comes in motion very well in this game. Memory is a critical part of everyday life. Wondermind does a good job at portraying this aspect about human life. As students, we use memorization as a key fundamental learning skill in studying for exams etc. Or in everyday, simple things such as remembering a phone number, address, or memorizing instructions. On top of that, learnign these memorization skills at a young age is going to be pivotal in growing up.

  3. 6
    Alice Rendell
    Game Developer | Total Game Reviews: 4

    I am a big fan of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and the Wondermind captures the quirky universe and edgy atmosphere perfectly. The artwork and music create a beautiful wonderland patchwork which makes you feel like you have jumped right into one of the pages of the book.
    The informative videos and nuggets of knowledge given before and after a mini-game made the experience even richer and the text, although sometimes a bit long and heavy, was a welcome addition to the game.
    Unfortunately where Wondermind fell short was in the design of the mini-games. Based on familiar concepts like "connect the pipes" and "memory pairs" they became repetitive far too quickly and don’t provide any real progressive challenge. A shame as the initial message behind the project and the execution of art a music would have otherwise made for an outstanding gem of a game.

  4. 8
    Tom Mowbray
    Total Game Reviews: 30

    Delightful series of Alice in Wornderland-genre game challenges followed by video lessons and quiz questions that teach about memory and basic brain science. I liked the forgiving nature of the quizes; some were truly wild guesses; then there was this little video clip that reminded us to go ahead a make a guess, to take risks, and be timely in our responses.

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