developer: ECIRCUS – Education through Characters with Emotional-Intelligence and Role Playing Capabilities that Understand Social Interaction (EU 6th Framework Program)
genre: virtual drama for social awareness
educational purpose: Bullying awareness
target audience: children 8-12 years old
H&H taxonomy class: Personal Skills (Strategic Thinking, Problem Solving Interpersonal Relations), Interpersonal Skills (Empathy, Conflict Management), Social Awareness (Violence, Education)
web page: http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/EcircusWeb/
release date: 03/04/2009 (last release)
The FearNot! application software (Fun with Empathic Agents to Achieve Novel Outcomes in Teaching) aims to enable children to explore physical and relational bullying issues and coping strategies through empathic interactions with synthetic characters. In order to achieve these objectives, FearNot! provides children with various scenarios about bullying behaviour, that promote engagement and believability with synthetic characters in a social interaction.
Extensive evaluations of the FearNot application with over 1,000 children were carried out to consider children’s engagement with the synthetic agents, and their empathic responses to the characters and the scenarios. Individual interaction styles in relation to bullying behaviour, and children’s Theory of Mind abilities were also explored.