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3D Serious games: CLinIC-The Virtual Tutor and Think better CARE-The Virtual Tutor

“CLinIC-The Virtual Tutor” and “Think better CARE-The Virtual Tutor” are two twin serious games focused on difficult communication between nursing/carer staff and patients/residents. These tools aim to foster reflection around difficult dialogues and to maximize learners’ ability to self-regulate their training with the support of a Virtual Tutor inside the game.


The core of the games is to explore situations in order to gain better knowledge of what to do, in what order (when), and why. The games are built on this simple principle, provoking reflection by posing questions that create dilemmas. The objective is to prepare carers as well as nurses to make a good instant decision when confronted with a similar real life occurrence. Reflection on the real life experience could lead to further improvement in the quality of the next decision taken in similar circumstances.

How do they work:

As soon as users enter the virtual environment, an info box appears: here some useful information is displayed that will guide users through their game experience.

Then users have the possibility to play a short tutorial in order to become familiar with the controls of the game: here they can interact and talk with the tutor and some objects.

Whenever users feel to have acquired enough knowledge of the controls, they can cross a door and enter the real game, which is a 3D care home or hospital where users are asked to complete some tasks in order to take care of their patients or residents. 

Starting from the tasks of the agenda, learners have the possibility to navigate the environments, deal with some difficult situations with patients/residents through different branching stories and increase some specific competences trough different “mini games”.

During each branching story users have to choose among different options of action that are never obvious or evident and at the end of each branching, users will have the possibility to train some competences that are particularly important in the health domain (e.g. the ability to communicate in a more emphatic way with residents or patients) through different mini games.

Each decision taken during the game will increase or decrease the score of different parameters that users will have to manage at their best simultaneously: time management and patient/resident satisfaction. Furthermore, during the game, a central role will be reserved to “Maria”, the Virtual Tutor: based on the “peer-to-peer” learning model, Maria will enable learners to enter in their Zone of Proximal Development and extend their own knowledge at the end of the game. In particular the intervention of the Virtual Tutor will occur at different levels:

  • Pull: learners can ask for Maria’s help whenever they feel it is relevant (through the “tutor’s icon” in the “tablet”).
  • Push: in some precise situation, Maria will be shown inside the game trough a pop-up window to help users deal with difficult situations.

When users complete all the tasks presented in the Agenda, they can join their tutor in the Staff room to check together how they have performed during the game. At the end of the game Maria will give learners a feedback about their performance during the game with respect to the different parameters described above: time management and patient/resident satisfaction.

After the game experience learners will be able to read all the notes that have been collected during gameplay into a learning diary, and reflect about their experience.

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqUC2dcllWA&feature=g-all-u

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