Tuesday, September 27, 2011

HyperSwipe Fun-alysis.

Yup, I thinking I might have to trademark that one.

I have had the wonderful opportunity to provide feedback on another Think Fun game: HyperSwipe. A a fast paced game with focus on visual skills.

The last couple of times I have discussed specific visual perceptual skills, but I should back track and explain what they are and why they are important.
Visual Perception- the ability to understand what you are seeing
Visual Closure- the ability to visualize a whole image when only partial is given
Visual Motor Integration- the ability for your body and eyes to work together
Visual Discrimination- the ability to note the similarities and differences between items
Figure Ground- the ability to distinguish an image from its background
Form Constancy- the ability to mentally turn images and figure out what they would look like
Visual Spatial Relations- the ability to perceive objects' position to one another and yourself
Visual Memory- the ability to recall what was seen

When you have difficulty with any of these skills, it could affect fluency in reading, writing, moving, and basically anything else that you do during the day.

Now that your up to speed, let's swipe.  

HyperSwipe, though rated for 6 and up, was also enjoyed by Mudge who is "3 and 3 quarters."  Once we got the gist of the instructions, it was actually pretty easy.  You install 2-AA batteries into the HyperSwiper and place the circle swipe cards in the slot.  Pass out a few square swipe cards to each player.  Then as the image cards pop out, you try to make a match.  But you need to be careful, because the pictures are very similar.  If you pick the wrong one, you lose a point.  And then you keep matching until the circle cards are all gone.  To make it easier to remember to get another square card to continue with the game, I say "Put the matches over there (match pile), and take another square."

It did take a few rounds to get the game going.  But I found it was easier to teach it to kids when we started off with at least 2 cards each, not one since you could all NOT have a match.  Then I increased the number of swipe cards each round.

This game is a fun way to address:

  • visual closure since some of the images are blocked by the HyperSwiper's design.
  • visual discrimination since you have to pay close attention to the details to make the match
  • form constancy, the images on the square swipe card are different size and in different positions

The HyperSwiper did jam up a few times during each round, but was easily fixed.  And I am going to stick some non-skid on the feet of the HyperSwiper to keep it from sliding around.  But overall, everyone I have shared it with, kids and adults, has enjoyed trying to outswipe their opponent.  At about $25, it is in the higher end of cost compared to many of Think Fun's other games.  But it's fun.  It's quick. And it can support perceptual development.

Other ways to play:

  • Keep one hand behind your back
  • Have the kids keep score to address writing skills
  • When scoring, sort first by shape (line up all the squares, then the circles).  Then use 1:1 correspondence: place one circle on each square card. then count your pairs.

Mudge's response after scoring!

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