WisdomTools has developed a series of new microgame models created specifically for the worker health and safety community. Microgames are video games that typically take 5 to 20 minutes to play and focus on a small number of learning elements. Microgames are great for refresher courses, supplemental learning tools, or just to take a break from studying or classroom instruction because they inject an element of fun into the learning process, even for subjects that are difficult to teach.
Game FACTS was created with support from the National Institute of Environmental Health and Safety (NIEHS) Worker Education and Training Program. The first version of Game FACTS includes three different games that come pre-populated with questions and feedback on personal protective equipment (PPE), air contaminant detection equipment, and incident command systems (ICS), and each game can easily be customized to include questions from a different subject area. The next version of Game FACTS will include an easy-to-use trainer tool that allows trainers to modify the game content and subject area in a familiar drag and drop and fill-in-the-blank format, so that Game FACTS can be used to add fun and interaction into any training course.
In HazBlaster, which is currently designed to teach concepts related to PPE selection and use, players move through a maze of crates and platforms. Upon encountering a “HAZMAT” crate, they receive clues about the contents and chose from one of four levels of PPE available to them. If they choose the right level of personal protective equipment, they get to vaporize the crate with their faithful robot companion, ROVR – the Remotely Operated Vaporization Robot.
HazMatch features content on the uses and limitations of various types of air contaminant detection equipment. Players have an aimable cannon that shoots balls up into the play area at the same time that a plunger from above slowly pushes them down and shrinks the playing field. The player receives a clue each time they prepare to shoot, and they must choose from one of three categories the clue falls under to predict what kind of ball will come out. Each time the player matches three balls from the same category, they must correctly answer a multiple choice question to clear the balls from the field, giving the player more space and time to play.
HazLander, on incident command systems, gives players a multiple choice question with color-coded answer choices. To answer the question, the player must steer their space lander onto the platform that matches their answer choice without running out of fuel. Each correct answer gives the player more fuel and consequently more time to play.
All of these game models and the new game models planned for the next version of Game FACTS include a resource area where learners can access informational resources related to the in-game content, in order to ensure that even trainees who have never worked within the content area will be able to play and learn from the games.