About this Research Topic
Applied immersive games (AIG) are conceived, developed, and deployed at the intersection of multiple disciplines – computer science, psychology, engineering, creative arts, and many more. In addition, when exploring potential application domains such as health, education, or logistics, these specialized fields are also drawn upon to inform the design of AIG for effective intervention and simulation. From the background of these many fields and modalities, AIG aim to utilize the engaging power of games and immersive technologies, such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) and make use of realistic models to support individuals and organizations with pursuing their goals: fostering learning, helping in decision-making processes, providing cost-effective training, etc. This type of games is also called serious or simulation games, persuasive games, or interactive simulations, training for situational response, and more.
In some domains, such as education and health, AIG are an accepted form in both the academic as well as the professional field. One example is the game EndeavorRx, the first of its kind to be approved as an accepted medical treatment for children with ADHD. As another example, fire fighters use immersive technologies to be better prepared for risky or dangerous situations, and traffic managers immerse themselves in models of future scenarios of what our cities might look like, to make the right decisions.
Immersive technologies are heavily used in entertainment games, with games sometimes being called the example application for VR developments. Yet, the use of immersive technologies in the field of applied games is still underexplored. Studies in this field could lead to a better understanding of design principles, promising application areas, as well as their technical, social, and ethical affordances and limitations. For example, we do not yet know what combination of game elements and immersive technology leads to the best possible learning environment with regard to retention and distraction, or as adapted to specific subject domains. We do not know the most effective ways to support group collaboration in specific contexts. There are open research questions from low-level implementation details such as haptics, navigation, and rendering, to high level questions such as supporting leaning, communication, interaction, and complex simulation. This Research Topic aims to clarify definitions around AIG, discuss lessons learned, and reflect on design processes of applied immersive games to develop this research field further. Specific topic suggests include (but are not limited to):
- Effective immersive technologies to foster game and play for ‘serious’ purposes such as learning, training, and decision support
- Evaluation approaches towards the effectiveness and transfer power of Applied Immersive Games
- (Inclusive) Valid Applied Immersive Game Design for Teaching and Research in a post-Covid world
- Integrating Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Applied Immersive Games for e.g. Simulation and Personalization
- Applied Immersive Games transforming workplaces and public spaces into more livable places
Keywords: Immersive Games, Applied, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Immersive Worlds
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