Virtual reality immersive serious game to enhance learning. The case of Peña del Castro

Checa, David
Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA)

Immersive Virtual Reality has a huge potential to enhance the understanding and interest for lost or very degraded Cultural Heritage of Archaeological sites by the general public. Virtual Reality serious games, designed for educational purposes, are called to be a powerful tool to learn about ancient life, lost cultures and historical milestones related to such sites in a very strong engaging way. This work presents the recreation in Virtual Reality of part of a pre-roman village at “La Peña del Castro” (Leon-Spain) and the design of a serious game in this environment. Two learning-oriented methodologies are designed: a serious game to be played on a flat screen and another to operate in an immersive virtual reality environment, which works on Oculus Rift. The serious game was performed using Blender 3D software for modelling and Unreal Engine as game engine. Users can explore freely the environment who is designed for teaching in relation to aspects from historical knowledge to urban layout. The experience in virtual reality tries to enhance the immersiveness effect expecting higher learning rates that the experience in flat screens. Finally, an evaluation study under undergraduate students is performed, by means of post-session surveys, to assess the acquired knowledge about the archaeological reconstruction and the proposed learning goals.