How playful design is transforming university education

July 31, 2018

Written by Drs. David Kaufman & Neha Shivara. 
Originally featured in The Conversation (featured here). 

A group of 25 interns sit at Baycrest Health Sciences, a research centre for aging in Canada, their eyes glued to their smart phones. They are playing SOS — an award-winning game that simulates real-world gerontology practice — where they compete with other students to earn virtual currency.

Across town, a group of professors sit around a table at George Brown College, designing a role-playing game with a virtual hospital called The Grid, based on a Matrix-like theme of saving the world from ignorance, for an accredited program in health sciences. Yet another team of game programmers are hard at work at Humber College, building a virtual reality experience of a subway car after a bomb incident. Players wear goggles, moving from person to person, saving some and tagging others for care later on.

Welcome to the new world of serious games and mixed reality. Serious educational games (SEGs) are games designed for learning. Mixed reality is a blend of virtual reality, augmented reality and what are called immersive technologies.

When you combine these, you get a sense of where university education is going. It is called playful design and it’s a multi-billion dollar industry, that was used by over 40 per cent of the top 1,000 companies in 2015. It is also likely coming to a college near you.

Read the rest of this article via National Post (originally featured in The Conversation)