Degree-Course Approvals to Bring New Vigor in Serious Games

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The gaming and simulations have been revolutionizing the education system at different levels. The emergence of the serious games industry has been an indication that there is a huge adoption of virtual reality for training activities. Many companies and universities have taken necessary steps to ride on the booming wave of serious games.

Simutech Multimedia, an Ottawa-based company has made an announcement regarding the launch of the 3D version of the application for training industrial workers. This platform has been designed for training maintenance workers to determine the problem related to electrical systems and solve them. Samer Forzley, CEO of Simutech, outlined that this platform enables workers to learn in a risk-free virtual environment rather than actual machinery. As the company steps into the serious games industry, Mr. Forzley stated that it is rewarding when a customer says that he can use this platform after the demonstration.

This new platform is able to integrate virtual reality technology into a training process. Moreover, the tech company, supplying its training software to more than 1,000 clients, highlighted that there are basic AI algorithms that learn the way individual workers perform tasks and transform the training process based on that. The software evolves with the collection of data. This step in the serious games industry would help the company in gaining more market share and expand at a good pace.

With the entry of new players in the industry, there would be significant growth in the industry. Along with the entry of new players, there are major steps taken by universities for preparing the workforce that would develop better serious games in the future.

The university council of the University of Houston-Clear Lake (UHCL) approved a new degree, Serious Games and Simulations. Following the struggle of many UHCL officers and professors, this degree has been approved by the university council. The five-year course will be included in the College of Human Sciences and Humanities (HSH). Anne Henry, clinical assistant professor of digital media and studies at HSH, has been striving to get an approval of this degree since the beginning. Henry outlined that serious games offer an effective and engaging technology-based experience for training and learning. These games have been used by various industries including military, healthcare, governmental agencies, and others.

Henry added that students will learn to develop a serious game for an application related to training and education. During the course, students can get hands-on experience on a wide array of techniques and research on the development of commercial games along with learning how to apply these techniques and strategies for developing serious games.

Jack McGrath, the President of Digitec Interactive and a UHCL Advisory Board Member, opined that game designers are able to create a flow that would allow players to solve complicated problems. The serious games and simulation-based learning courses at UHCL would enable learners to leverage the power of gaming to create serious games. Rick Short, the Dean of the college of HSH, opined that there are many local community colleges that provide gaming-related degrees; however, this college stands out among them for different reasons.

There is not a single university-based initiative in the Greater Houston Area that collaborates with industry and agencies for training developers, carrying out research and development activities, and encouraging innovations in the educational arena. The UHCL, based on expertise, location, and commitment, fills that void. The approval of degree would enable students to work with interdisciplinary teams of students and develop their skills.