Double Fine Happy Action Theater used in Australian school for special-needs kids

Teachers at an Australian school that caters to special-needs children are using Double Fine Happy Action Theater in the classroom to great effect, Eurogamer reports.

The Kinect-exclusive party game offers simple, fun minigames that are easy to jump into, but according to teachers Mathieu Marunczyn and Emily Ford of the Jackson School in Victoria, Australia, Happy Action Theater's lack of setup is what makes it particularly conducive to classroom use. "You just put it on and a minute later it's starting and [the students are] on their way," said Ford. "With other games, I think, 'I haven't got time to set that up. Let's go do something else.'"

Marunczyn devotes 20 to 30 minutes four days a week to a social-skills session involving Happy Action Theater. He told Eurogamer that the game has helped his students develop coordination and motor skills. In Ford's experience, playing around with Happy Action Theater has improved the kids' social skills — her 9- to 12-year-old autistic students often have trouble communicating verbally, and she said, "They wouldn't necessarily talk to each other unless they had this medium to do it through." She often leaves the game on during the kids' lunch break, so they can engage with it as they wish.

Double Fine Happy Action Theater launched this past February. A sequel called Kinect Party was announced at PAX Prime 2012; it is set for release later this year.

More from Polygon

The horror of Five Nights at Freddy's

  • Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Old Iron King Overview

  • Spacecom: a fast 4X built for multiplayer

  • Pillars of Eternity builds on role-playing classics

  • Tour the 1 KB hard drive built inside Minecraft

Latest Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.
Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5353_tracker