Monkey Swing was developed in collaboration with the Consortium for Research and Evaluation of Advanced Technologies in Education (C.R.E.A.T.E lab) at New York University. I led the game design and development. The graphic design was led by Emma Wang and Bhavana Budithi.
Monkey Swing is a web based color-matching memory game, designed to train executive functions and specifically the executive function ‘Updating’ which deals with manipulation of working memory chunks.
It is a simple yet difficult game based on the task of manipulating elements in working memory. The only rule of the game is to match the color of monkeys to lead them to safety. However, the game poses increasingly difficult challenges in terms of changes in behavior and patterns of the monkeys and their colors.
The game is a part of the suite of three E.F games being developed at CREATE and is based on research on latent variable model of executive functions which highlights the differences in executive functions and the possibility of isolating basic executive functions (Miyake et al., 2000). The model separates executive functioning into three underlying mechanisms: updating, shifting and inhibition. Updating is defined as updating and monitoring of working memory representations, shifting is defined as shifting between tasks or mental and inhibition is referred as inhibition of dominant or prepotent responses. The focus of Monkey Swing is to tap into updating aspects of executive functions for the development and assessment of the same.