Improving Large Number Comprehension with an Infinite Runner Game

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Large numbers are increasingly important in our society. We encounter large numbersin the news, research, macroeconomics and they are the backbone of big data. Despite their importance, people often misjudge large numbers, leading to misconceptions and ungrounded discussions about the aforementioned topics. Training can improve comprehension of large numbers. For example by embedding a large number in an understandable context (Barrio, Goldstein, & Hofman, 2016), or pointing out a often wrongly predicted value on a number line (Guay, Davis, DeLaunay, Charlesworth, & Landy, Under review). This research proposes a serious game to train users on the comprehension of large magnitudes and exponential growth. The game is an endless runner-type game and is based on the notion of walking on an extended number line with varying speeds to give the player an impression of the magnitude and scale of numbers. An experiment was conducted regarding the effectiveness of this training method. Scores extracted from questionnaires filled in before and after playing the game revealed that the game is indeed effective in the training of large number comprehension. Especially notable is the change in response to price-difference questions, one of the used measurements for large number comprehension. These results imply the proposed game is a viable training method for large number comprehension and may be developed further for real-life use.
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