Safety Training Through Educational Online Computer Games on Crowd Evacuations?
Research into pedestrian evacuation dynamics has many direct applications in building design, facility management and event planning. It is therefore crucial that research findings and the need for further work are communicated to researchers, policy makers, planners, practitioners and, ultimately, the public. Experiments in virtual environments are a popular research tool, as they allow users an immersive experience of crowd evacuations. Online computer games derived from such experiments could thus be a useful tool for communicating pedestrian dynamics research. This paper is part of a project that aims to raise awareness for research into crowd evacuations by using online computer games. Here, I explore the suitability of evacuation games as educational tools by conducting a pilot study into user learning outcomes and engagement levels. I find that games achieve learning and engagement in less time than text-based information, but not as comprehensively. This preliminary study is intended as a starting point for developing the games further.
N.W.F.B. was supported by a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship and the AXA Research Fund. The author thanks all participants in the study.
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