Dalton’s Jungle: A computer game for testing children’s color vision

Pet Chean Ang, Computer Science ‘05

Advisor: James A. Ferwerda, Program of Computer Graphics




Anomalies of color vision affect approximately ten percent of the male population and a smaller percentage of females. With recent advances in desktop publishing and printing technologies, color is now commonly used in teaching materials in K-12 classrooms. Therefore it is becoming increasingly important to identify children with color-anomalous vision so appropriate accommodations can be made. Existing tests such as the Ishihara plates and the Farnsworth D-15 test are both expensive to acquire and difficult to administer to the pediatric population. To address these issues we have developed a PC-based video game called Dalton’s Jungle that can assess color-anomalies in children’s vision. The goal of the game is to find animal patterns that are hidden in images of jungle-like foliage. The colors of both the animals and the foliage are chosen to fall along dichromatic confusion lines in the CIE u,v uniform chromaticity space. In each round of the game, chromaticity differences between the animal and foliage patterns increase over time, allowing direct measurement of discrimination thresholds. Thus the game can assess both the form and degree of color anomalies in vision.  Performance is summarized in both tabular and graphical reports and is referenced to age-based norms.



§     ~ 1 in 10 males and a smaller percentage of females are color “blind”

§     use of color is becoming increasingly common in K-12 teaching materials

§     need to identify children with color vision problems for appropriate accommodations can be made


Fundamentals of color vision:

§     3 types of cones sensitive to different wavelengths

o       long – “red”

o       medium – “green”

o       short – “blue”

§     produces a trichromatic color space



Color “blindness”:

§     3 types: protanopia, deuteranopia, tritanopia related to different cone anomalies

§     hues along particular lines in color space are indistinguishable

§     dichromatic confusion lines

§     colors are misperceived



Dalton’s Jungle Game:

§     player’s goal is to find animals that emerge out of the jungle foliage

§     color differences between animals and foliage increase over time

§     colors change along dichromatic lines from turn to turn

§     game measures player’s color discrimination thresholds

§     generates PDF report showing results in tabular and graphical forms



§     new method for testing children’s color vision

§     enjoyable game context

§     standard PC platform

§     wide potential distribution












§     National Science Foundation, ITR/PE-0113310

§     Cornell Program of Computer Graphics


For more information:

§     http://www.graphics.cornell.edu/~jaf