A proof-of-concept demonstration for a web-based serious medical game developed using the Unity 3D game engine. I led this six month research and development project as the principal investigator with Sonalysts and NCI to illustrate our approach to the U.S. Air Force’s Air Education and Training Command (AETC) for a later prototype to help military medical personnel see how treatment decisions affect each other in the continuum of care. Highlights include:
- SELF-GUIDED LEARNING: Virtual learning environment draws students to teachable moments to allow them to explore and find their own unique paths in training. They feel like it’s their own story, since they decide what to do next instead of step-by-step training, while reaching their objectives. And the order they take could have consequences too (like who we assess in triage first, etc.).
- PERFORMANCE TRACKING: Proof-of-Concept demonstration is SCORM conformant, included use of a Learning Management System, and provided a single “on rails” path to complete the treatment. There is a remediation fork when the player has to drill an IO line when an IV needle can not be used due to the extent of the soldier’s injuries.
- PAUSE GAME FOR SUPPLEMENTAL TRAINING: An innovative approach was used to link to other existing military medical training on the Focused Abdominal Sonography for Trauma (FAST). Students could click an item inside the game to learn more about how to use the FAST device properly. This paused the game to use the other training and allowed them to restart at where they left upon return , all while being tracked for later post-game assessment of their time use and game performance.
- GAMING THE CLASSROOM: In the later conceptual development of the game prototype, I used a scoring system for leveling up the players similar to “Gaming the Classroom” from Prof. Lee Sheldon at Indiana University, Bloomington, in which students begin the first day of class as a Level 1 avatar and level up as they grow in experience. People often press themselves on and get more engaged in learning when they have status rewards that incorporate audible and visual stimuli to signify achievements and provide use of Web 2.0 bragging rights to socially network their training experiences.
- VIRTUAL GUIDE: MEDATAR also includes use of a “Virtual Guide” to accompany the student along the path to learning by providing help to students when needed based upon the student’s level of experience and performance. For more information on my approach, see the paper I delivered at GameTech 2012: Virtual Guides: A Hybrid Approach to Immersive Learning.