Fun and engagement are all well and good. Can you train real job skills in games and simulations? In this article we explore 4 ways to design 3D Virtual Reality games where the players can learn and practice real world skills.
How 3D Virtual Reality Games Build Real World Skills
As a serious games and simulations developer and advocate, one of the common questions that I have come across is “Do the skills you learn in a simulated environment hold up in the real world?”.
The primary rationale for using game-based or simulated learning is that they are practice-oriented and that the emphasis is on skills. While it is not disputed that games require some sort of skills, the concern for the relevance of such skills in actual on-the-job situations is real and understandable.
As with any computer-generated environment or system, computer games and simulation have varied user-interfaceS and provide varied user experiences. Any potential users must learn to interact with such interfaces and gain skills—depending on the system, examples are hand-eye coordination, spatial intelligence, pattern recognition, causality, etc.—and improve them over time.
So, the question is not about the learning of skills in games. The question is; Can someone who has practiced a skill in a game or simulation also be effective at performing similar tasks in real life?
The answer is “yes”. Various studies, such as these ones on nurses training using games, have shown the improvement in performance confidence and knowledge of real world procedures through the use of simulated and game-based practice.
In this article, we will explore 4 ways in which games and simulations can be used to build real world skills.