A review of immersive virtual reality serious games to enhance learning and training

David Checa, Andres Bustillo
Multimed Tools Applications

The merger of game-based approaches and Virtual Reality (VR) environments that can enhance learning and training methodologies have a very promising future, reinforced by the widespread market-availability of affordable software and hardware tools for VR-environments. Rather than passive observers, users engage in those learning environments as active participants, permitting the development of exploration-based learning paradigms. There are separate reviews of VR technologies and serious games for educational and training purposes with a focus on only one knowledge area. However, this review covers 135 proposals for serious games in immersive VR-environments that are combinations of both VR and serious games and that offer end-user validation. First, an analysis of the forum, nationality, and date of publication of the articles is conducted. Then, the application domains, the target audience, the design of the game and its technological implementation, the performance evaluation procedure, and the results are analyzed. The aim here is to identify the factual standards of the proposed solutions and the differences between training and learning applications. Finally, the study lays the basis for future research lines that will develop serious games in immersive VR-environments, providing recommendations for the improvement of these tools and their successful application for the enhancement of both learning and training tasks.

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