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Should I Make My Custom Educational Game in Virtual Reality? (Part 1)

Greetings! If you’re reading this blog, I’m guessing you’re thinking of investing in making a custom educational game in virtual reality. Rest assured that you are in good company. Studies show that VR in education will continue to grow – most recently, a study from Statista predicts that by 2025, VR in education is set to be a $700 million industry.

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The question is no longer whether I can make my educational game in VR – it’s now about whether I should make my custom educational game in VR. There are many factors to consider when deciding, and in this article, I’ll break down some great reasons to make your game in VR. In Part 2, I’ll list some reasons why VR may not be optimal for your educational game and share some additional items to consider. For context, these articles are intended to help you decide whether to make your educational game in VR, as opposed to making your game for browsers, a mobile phone, or a tablet.  This is accordingly not a discussion about whether you should make your educational game in VR, as opposed to doing in-person training, or a board game, or anything that isn’t digital (that’s a topic for another blog!) 

Let’s get started. 

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Ways VR Is Great for Learning

VR is cool. It just is. VR still feels very new and modern to most people and, because it requires a device that most people don’t have, getting into VR is a special occurrence in most people’s lives. VR can make your training feel relevant, modern, and even futuristic. So if you are struggling with engaging your learners, VR is a great bet. 

Besides the cool and relevancy factors, VR as a learning modality can be exceptional in multiple ways:   

  1. It’s immersive which means you are totally encapsulated in an experience that demands your full attention without distraction – this can lead to stronger learning outcomes. 
  2. Given that its immersive, educational VR content has been proven to be a powerful retention tool as it engages 4 of your 5 senses.    
  3. VR is an embodied experience which means VR is particularly good at teaching things that require moving your body.  Even if your learning objectives don’t particularly require moving your body, learning while moving your body has been shown to also contribute to increased retention.
  4. One of the tools we use in creating impactful learning games is to endow the player with an identity that is conducive to learning.  VR is ideal for helping you physically inhabit the identity that the learning experience intends you to have.
  5. VR is a safe way for you to be in places that are high risk, dangerous, and/or difficult to get to. 
  6. It can be considered to be a more inclusive learning modality, as many VR experiences can be less physically strenuous than their physical counterparts and there are a range of devices available to work with certain people’s physical limitations.

In summary, if your learning content is best served by immersing a player in a specific place (which may be potentially dangerous to be in otherwise) or doing something with their bodies that is supported by an empowered identity, VR may be the best choice of device to create your educational game for. VR also provides the added benefit of being more engaging and more inclusive than other learning modalities. 

I’ll stop here for now and let you think about this. When you are ready, make sure to read Part 2 of this blog where I’ll share my thoughts on cases where VR may not be the right learning modality for you.

Learn more about VR for Education:

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