Understanding the Role of VR/AR in Game-Based Learning

By 2018, 2.25% of the world population – 171 million people – used virtual reality (VR) actively.

This number has grown rapidly as more businesses, more game developers, and more tech companies use the technology to create games, apps and programs that use VR and augmented reality (AR) elements. But what makes VR and AR so effective and interesting? And what are their roles in game-based learning strategies?

Outside the novelty of being new and unique technologies, people are drawn to VR and AR because they bridge the virtual world and the physical world. Rather than limiting a user to what’s on a screen in front of them or what’s in the physical space around them, VR and AR give the user access to both simultaneously and can even enhance those spaces.

The ability to work within both a physical and virtual space plays very well in game-based learning strategies, where the focus is on students and users interacting with a simulated environment where they can experiment with skills in a risk-free setting.

VR creates a virtual space that can be enacted upon by users through use of motion-sensor equipment, giving users the feeling of engaging physically with the virtual world they see. Rather than simply clicking on a choice to perform an action, a player can perform that action themselves while using VR.

AR allows a user to stay in the physical world while they interact with virtual extensions of objects. Similar to hovering over an object in a videogame with your mouse, users can use AR technology to look at physical objects and learn more about them without moving their attention from them to a textbook. By connecting virtual and physical worlds through VR and AR, it becomes much easier for users to transfer skills gained in the virtual world into real world applications.

In addition, VR and AR have been designed well for gaming purposes. When AR and VR technologies were released into the mainstream, they quickly found a home with the gaming industry, and now 6.577% of all gamers worldwide use headsets, mobile phones and other technology as a means of interacting with the world of VR and AR.

As VR technology becomes more readily available, and as phones continue to be used for both VR and AR purposes, using VR or AR in your game-based learning strategy becomes increasingly more vital in a post-COVID 19 world where social distancing is a norm and people yearn for a way to engage and learn “physically” while staying safe.

If you or your organization are interested in incorporating VR and/or AR into your game-based learning strategy but don’t know where to start, reach out for a free consultation and we can work together to find a solution that works for you.