Unexpected events cause a surprise reaction. Surprises involve an emotional reaction, but also serve a cognitive goal as it directs attention to explain why the unexpected events occurred and to learn for the future. In the surprise version a niece character is introduced in the backstory animation. When the player has started to solve a problem, the niece character pops up and changes some of the problem characteristics. Because of this, the player is forced to reconsider the solution method and find out if it still can be used. The niece character (and thus the unexpected event) pops up randomly.


The problem the player has to solve

surprise 2

Niece character appears (unexpected event) when 10 bottles of cola are dragged into the refrigerator

surprise 3

Problem characteristics have changed: 9 cola/12 fanta becomes 6 cola/12 fanta

Play the Surprise version

Wouters, P., van Oostendorp, H., ter Vrugte, J., Vandercruysse, S., de Jong, T., & Elen, J. (submitted). The role of surprise in gameā€based learning for mathematics. British Journal of Educational Technology.