A comparison of seated and room-scale virtual reality on medical-based serious games and virtual simulation

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Simulation-based training has been widely adopted by healthcare education as a vital tool in the practice of skills within a safe environment. However, significant cost and logistical challenges exist within traditional simulation practices. Serious games, or games with a primary purpose other than entertainment, are virtual simulations which can address many of these issues while remaining proven tools for effective skills transfer to the real world. This thesis presents two serious games for anesthesia training, one dealing with anesthesia crisis resource management skills and one serving as an epidural procedure preparation tool. The work seeks to demonstrate that the combination of serious games and consumer-grade virtual reality hardware provide an interactive and engaging simulation environment for anesthesia training. Through a set of usability tests, results indicate that both serious games offer a level of game engagement while demonstrating the ability of room-scale virtual reality to provide certain benefits applicable to serious games and simulations. From this, a set of recommendations and guidelines for the designers and developers of serious games and simulations are provided.
Anesthesia, Serious games, Simulations, Virtual reality