In this blog, I want to look at a few games I have played in virtual reality and how this platform can be used to create highly engaging training and how it can create a deep learning experience.
According to Dr Natalie Coull, Head of Cyber Division at Abertay University, “Deep learning involves a distinct effort on the part of the learner to engage with the material being learned and they are required to critically examine each new fact or idea and link it with this existing knowledge”
Go beyond a realistic workplace scenario
My inspiration for this blog started with a game called Shooty Fruity, developed by Near Light & Dreams, where players need to scan, serve and pack produce while shooting guns to defend the store from mutant fruit. A simple concept that could train check-out staff to multi-task. Although a store will never be under attack by mutant fruit in real life it is important to realise that aspects of a game that create a challenge will keep a player engaged.
When creating your immersive learning scenarios, it can be useful to think of ways to create a challenge for the learner. Make it feel like a game! Even if the scenario feels exaggerated and unrealistic you can try to think of how these heightened scenarios improve a learner’s engagement and, more importantly, their ability to retain and apply their new knowledge.
But creating a virtual reality game using a headset can be costly. This is why our platform works on any device you need it to. Making an engaging and immersive experience is often more about the content and less about the high-tech platform. It’s about triggering the learner’s imagination and willingness to set aside the constraints of the real world. It’s still the case that a good book or radio play can be as gripping and involving as the most dazzling movie effects.
Dive into the virtual world
Let’s say you do want to use virtual reality headsets. There is a time and place for this if you have the budget. Sometimes training can be safer in a virtual environment because the training requires a learner to have a hands-on experience.
Games with good storylines that have consequences for the actions taken.
Examples of this:
- Giving police officers a realistic experience on a scenario that in real life could be life-threatening or have a deep emotional impact.
- Allowing students to practice surgery.
- Teaching new firefighters how to react in a burning building.
This kind of training is universal, and if organisations come together to fund it, it can be affordable to roll out whilst creating valuable training that a classroom simply cannot.
I have stepped into the virtual reality world of London Heist, a PlayStation demo game created by London Studios, and experienced the life of being a gangster. Once you are in, it is so realistic that if you put a cigarette to your mouth it will trigger a puff of smoke and make you feel like you are really there.
You can have a real emotional and physical experience in the virtual world that can prepare you for real-life scenarios in a very real way.