Learning indoor navigation skills: a mobile game for people with intellectual disabilities

Inga Volosnikova, Olga Shabalina, Aleksandr Davtian, David C. Moffat

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


People with intellectual disabilities often experience problems whenever they want to visit large indoor spaces such as shopping centers, hospitals, and cultural centers, as they might be not able to quickly navigate them and find the right place. Interactive message boards, signage systems, helpdesks, and other navigation aids may be useless to them, as they may not be able to read and understand navigation maps, or even communicate with strangers. This article presents a mobile game that trains indoor navigation skills of people with intellectual disabilities. The gameplay is based on user control of the movement of a game character along a route built in the space with several indoor objects. The goal of the game is to complete the route from the entrance to exit with minimal deviations. The indoor space and the objects within the space are represented as 2D or pseudo-3D (isometric) models. The route is rebuilt every time at the beginning of the game, depending on a set of objects which the character wishes to pass by, and is divided into segments between two neighbouring objects. To keep the user's attention while he moves the character, the current section of the route is highlighted and the end of the section is indicated by a bright marker. After the game character reaches the end point of each section, the user is shown a smiling or sad emoticon depending on the success in passing the section. After reaching the end point of the route, the user is shown a list of emoticons matched to each route section. The developed game was integrated with the mobile game for training shopping skills of people with intellectual disabilities previously developed by the authors. For the game, several models of real stores have been developed,, with interior shopping racks. At the beginning of the game, the user creates a shopping list. The list is used to build a route on the store map, which the user must go through to buy all the goods from the list.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationECGBL 2021- Proceedings of the 15th European Conference on Game Based Learning
EditorsPanagiotis Fotaris
PublisherAcademic Conferences International
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781914587139
ISBN (Print)9781914587122
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sept 2021
Event15th European Conference on Game Based Learning - The University of Brighton, Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 Sept 202124 Sept 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings of the European Conference on Games-based Learning
ISSN (Print)2049-0992


Conference15th European Conference on Game Based Learning
Abbreviated titleECGBL 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Indoor navigation
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Mobile game
  • People with intellectual disabilities
  • Training indoor navigation skills
  • Training shopping skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Education


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