A Social VR Playroom for Hospitalized Kids


LE 332


Tuesday, 14:00 - 16:00


Lab Course (Forschungsprojekt)



Many medical procedures or interventions require placing the patient in isolation. For children, isolation from parents and friends in a moment of suffering and fear is a distressing experience which may affect their psychoemotional development. A variety of medical settings is imaginable where it is necessary to enable and support meaningful social interaction between the patient and his peers over distance to increase well-being and health conditions. Playing multiplayer-games with parents or other social peers during the examination or hospital stay helps to avoid feelings of loneliness and isolation. Digital games can offer a natural solution for an issue which may not be as severe as anxiety and isolation are, but which contributes to the uneasiness and discomfort of any hospital stay: boredom. Virtual reality (VR) has like no other technology the potential to transport the user in virtual world by providing simulated cues and engaging content. Hence, VR technology enables hospitalized children to visit spaces which otherwise would not be accessible for them. Moreover, VR games have proven to be effective in reducing pain related to numerous medical procedures. However, by adding the element of social play, VR games can be enhanced and expanded from mere distractors to social communication tools, which allow hospitalized patients to interact with their peers joyfully. Interaction between users in such virtual playrooms is more natural and playful than communication over more common technologies like voice / video chat or text-based community systems like social networks sites or bulletin boards. VR systems might also be easier to use for younger children, since interaction is less abstract compared to other systems and no reading and writing skills are required. However, until now, no VR system tailored to children and the specific application in the hospital have been developed. Thus, the objectives of this masters project are

  • Finding suitable VR game design solutions that appeal both age groups children and adults (intergenerational gaming)
  • Identifying elements that increase social presence
  • Creating a flexible, platform-independent, and easy-to-use technological setup
  • Integrating social single-player modes if no other players can participate (e.g. by integrating computer-controlled agents as co-players)

If you are interested in participating, please send an E-Mail with your full name and study program to stefan.liszio[at]uni-due.de until Monday, 09.10.2017.
Participation in the kick-off meeting on Tuesday, 10.10.2017, 14:00 - 15:00 (LE 332) is mandatory.


  • Profound programming skills
  • Experience with Unity and VR development
  • Profound knowledge in design, psychology and empirical research

Target Audience

Master Komedia, Master Angewandte Informatik