Computer Games for Interacting with a Rural Landscape
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Computer games and, increasingly, mobile games, are becoming useful viewers of three-dimensional landscapes. A recognisable landscape can be made in computer games with some (but not a great deal of) expertise using the game editor. Modelling buildings, creatures, vegetation and people takes considerable time, skill and money but certain editable computer games and their editing community provide many models and scripts, which provide control functions at no cost. Editing games is termed ‘modding’. The scenes created in the games can be recorded as a movie, used in presentations or delivered in other applications, such as mobile games using mobile phones.
Computer games, when applied to learning, can provide the means to deliver educational programs that teach by game play. In the context of visualising landscapes as part of an educational package, computer games’ software packages provide exceptional (when cost is considered) platforms for the development of teaching packages that involve landscape simulation.
This chapter provides information about a research and development initiative that is building and evaluating the usefulness and effectiveness of commercial off-the-shelf computer games for building and delivering educational packages. The prototype package will be applied to training volunteer fire fighters in an Australian context. This chapter chiefly concerns the making of visualisations for theBushfire Rescue Game. There is a section on disasters, and some suggestions on how decision making and networking can be assisted during an emergency by the use of training games. This is followed by ideas from cognitive science on navigation and decision making. Conversation Theory then links engagement between people and machine productions like visualisations to produce new ideas. Visualisations are then discussed in the context of decision making in time-critical situations and some terms to describe types of visualisations are elaborated. There is an introduction to some terms used in describing aspects of games. Aspects of the editing of selected games are then described and illustrated. Finally future directions for research are summarised together with a conclusion.
KeywordsComputer Game Rural Landscape Mobile Game Fire Truck Conversation Theory
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