Exploring Playful Elements to Motivate Medical Students: Gamifying VR Diagnostics Training for Pediatric and Adolescent Psychiatry


LE 327


Wednesday, 11-12 Uhr


Lab Course (Forschungsprojekt)


To participate, please send an application to Linda Graf

Kick-Off Date: Wednesday, October 11th, 11:00 - 12:00; Room: tbn

Diagnosing mental disorders requires extensive practice for psychiatry students to succeed in diagnosing and dealing with patients, especially young patients. This exercise is usually practiced by reading case studies or using simulation patient programs. However, the latter often lacks standardization and depends on the actorís performance as it is highly complex (Wuendrich et al., 2012).

An innovative approach is using Virtual Reality (VR) technology and virtual characters that simulate patients (Mavrogiorgou et al., 2021, Graf et al., 2023). That approach should provide the possibility to interpret the behavior of the virtual patients regarding their body language and facial and verbal expressions. Therefore, it is a standardized and safe diagnostics practice and allows the opportunity to create various cases simultaneously. Furthermore, VR offers a high degree of immersion and thus also a sense of presence. Therefore, feeling social presence with virtual patients can enhance the sensation and recognition of emotions. Moreover, VR has several advantages that may improve the studentís motivation to practice the diagnosis. For example, one can use it anywhere, anytime. VR as a medium and the design of the application can contribute decisively to the motivation to want to use it and the fun during the process. So-called serious games are not only fun but, above all, have an educational character. A well-designed serious game is fun and makes the learner forget that he is using a learning application.

In this course, students will study mechanics from computer games and subsequently apply them to an existing prototype so that the diagnostic training becomes an actual serious game, which promotes motivation and fun in the students. The focus will be on the concepts of the playful elements they will add to the applications. Furthermore, students will implement their concepts using Unity and the Meta Quest Pro. Finally, they will test their application directly with the target group in collaboration with the LVR-Klinikum Essen.

Target Audience

MA Komedia, MAI