Monday, May 12, 2014

About Games, Simulations, and Augmented Reality

Welcome to this week's remarks about games, augmented realities and simulations.
The intention of these remarks is to discuss defining characteristics of these categories. What I did find was that some instances/examples do have characteristics that qualify them for more than one category.

According to Jane McGonigal, a game specialist, the basic elements of a game include a “goal, rules, a feedback system, and voluntary participation”(2011, 21). McGonigal adds that our willingness to engage also in a sense that it will be pleasurable activity (2011, 25).

Makers of The Go Game Build the Call to Fun and Connection into their Marketing Video:


While this first example offers team building, another example comes from A company that provides games to teach the principles of Enterprise Resource Planning. I can see this used in an academic classroom or by someone who wants to add this capability to their skill set. 

Simulations can include role plays or use technology to move us into “experiencing” the event, more than reading about it, hearing about it, or talking about it. Ruth Colvin Clark purports that e-scenarios and simulations are especially appropriate when safety and times efficiencies are involved , her time efficiency referring to the fact it might take too long to learn the same skill on the job (Clark 2013, 183). Another reason to be factored in is the expense of equipment for certain operations. There simulations are used to prevent breakage of the equipbment during the employee learning curve. Her book on this topic is an excellent resource for identifying situations that could benefit from scenarios, and how to plan for their design.

Military and Nursing Simulations: 

Role-play and Simulations as Part of the Interview Process:

Medical Simulations for the War Context: 

Ipad Simulator Apps: A couple relate to flight training— 

Augmented is a term created during the 90’s I believe and generally means layering digital information over a physical source. (One type is a QR code which can be placed on a building or piece of paper and when scanned, takes the viewer to a digital source of information like a website, or video.)

Michel Martin provides a 2009 post about how Augmented Reality could be used in manufacturing, similar to an example she drew from construction: As she states, the worker would wear a special headset that:
• Directs the worker to a pile of parts and tells her which part to pick up. This is currently done by displaying textual instructions and playing a sound file containing verbal instructions. • Confirms that she has the correct piece. This is done by having her scan a barcode on the component. • Directs her to install the component. A 3D virtual image of the component indicates where to install the component and verbal instructions played from a sound file explain how to install it. • Verifies that the component is installed by asking her to scan the component with the tracked barcode scanner This checks both the identity and position of the part.
         Though this item was provided in 2009, it reminds of what now might be possible with
         Google Glass.
For the past two years, I’ve been the project designer and coordinator for a compliance training delivered online games. The first year, we used a game that did include scenarios, and for the second year it was focused on policy knowledge. About 240 employees successfully completed the training each time. By the second offering, we were able to have an html5 game, which offers opportunity to have works access it across various devices and operating systems. This blog-post details some of the learning from those projects: 

We may be familiar with intelligent agents in their roles as smart tutors or automated helpers. This article describes how humans taking on the role of the artificial agent during their training increased their human level of expertise:

Clark, Ruth Colvin. 2013. Scenario-based e-Learning: Evidence-based Guidelines for Online            Workforce Learning. San Francisco: Pfeiffer/Wiley.

McGonigal, Jane. 2011. Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How We Can Change      the World. New York: Penguin Group.

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