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Seminar: Serious Gaming and Gamification, for Medical-Based Education and Training: Overview, Existing Work, and Open Problems

April 1, 2015 @ 11:30 am - 12:30 pm


The rising popularity of video games has seen a recent push towards the application of serious games, that is, video game-based technologies to teaching and learning, in medical education and training. One of the prevailing arguments for using serious games in the learning process of medical trainees is their ability to engage them in the active accumulation of cognitive (and to some degree technical) skills outside of the medical theater. This provides trainees the opportunity to reach a specific competency level in an interactive, engaging, ethically safe, and cost-effective manner before exposure to live patients. Despite the current “buzz” surrounding serious games, there are various problems that must be addressed before their use becomes more widespread. Many of these problems relate to how levels of realism and multi-modal cue interaction can affect immersion, and learning. Questions related to “how much realism is needed to maximize learning?” and “what effect do multi-modal cues have on learning?” amongst others, may have a number of implications, particularly when considering that perfect realism appears to be impossible to achieve (at least with our current technology). Furthermore, striving to reach a high degree of realism can lead to increased development costs and increase the probability of lag and subsequent discomfort and simulator sickness. In this presentation, serious games will be introduced followed by a discussion of the application of serious games for medical education and training. An overview of my own research work that focuses on serious gaming for medical education, real-time spatial sound generation for interactive virtual environments, and how these two areas are being merged will be also be provided. The presentation will end with a discussion regarding a number of issues, and open problems, with an emphasis on those related to fidelity, realism, multi-modal interactions, and the resulting implications on learning and computational requirements.


Bill Kapralos received his PhD and Master’s degrees (Computer Science) from York University in 2001 and 2006 respectively. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Game Development and Entrepreneurship (GDE) program at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). Bill has extensive experience in serious gaming, and spatial (3D) sound. He has led several large interdisciplinary and international serious gaming research projects that have included experts from medicine/surgery, and medical education with funding from a variety of government and industry sources. He is leading the serious gaming theme within the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Interactive and Multi-Modal Experience Research Syndicate (iMMERSE) initiative. He is also part of the Network of Centres of Excellence (NCE) Graphics, Animation, and New Media (GRAND) interdisciplinary research network, and a part of the recently awarded Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) CREATE (Industrial Stream) initiative titled Collaborative Learning of Usability Experiences (CLUE). Bill chaired the 2014 IEEE GEM conference, the ACM FuturePlay International Conference on the Future of Game Design and Technology from 2007-2010, and co-chaired the ACM Virtual Reality Software and Technology conference in 2012. He is the recipient of an IBM Centers for Advanced Studies Faculty Award, a co-recipient of a Google Faculty Award, and a recipient of a NSERC/JSPS (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) Fellowship to conduct research in Japan. He recently completed a two-month stay at Shizuoka University in Hamamatsu, Japan, as a Visiting Research Fellow and Guest Professor as part of this Fellowship.


April 1, 2015
11:30 am - 12:30 pm
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3033 Lassonde Building
York University
North York, Ontario M3J Canada
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