Bloom Virtual Village was developed by inter-disciplinary teams of faculty and students from George Brown College’s Community Services, Health Sciences (CSHS) and the Centre for Arts, Design & Information Technology (CADIT) together in collaboration with Baycrest Health Sciences, Microsoft and the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities.
Bloom Virtual Village began in May 2018 as part of a Career Ready project.
The task was to create a game that would simulate “real world” situations within a long-term care setting for students while supporting seniors living in and transitioning to long-term-care.
The objective of the game is to prepare students in the Health Sciences and Social Service Work disciplines for training, placement, and potential work in long-term care or clinical settings.
The Career Ready Fund project is an example of a multi-disciplinary team of students who by working together effectively embraced the design process. The project began with a problem definition, which in this case, was that Health Science students are currently under-prepared when taking part in their placements. There was an opportunity to create an innovative and unique teaching tool that would be used by students to better prepare them for their placements. Game design and health science students then conducted extensive research, interviews, and site visits to better understand some of the main topics, issues, and the current state of long term care facilities. This along with extensive brainstorm sessions and charrettes began to influence the design process and concept which was to create a role-playing game that would place a player in the role of a placement student that would interact with a number of characters within the game over the course of 14 in-game days and learn to communicate with them through highly curated dialogues and storylines that were created by students and faculty alike. As the player progresses through the game, he/she meets a number of primary and secondary characters and their interactions/responses will influence the course of the game while receiving feedback as the game progress. The result is a fun and interactive teaching tool that provides students with potential scenarios that they will be involved in during their placement, and the opportunity to learn what the correct course of action in dealing with certain situations may be like.
The team has since presented this game demo and concept along with a series of testing sessions with students, faculty and partners in order to obtain feedback and they are currently working on a final build of the game to be integrated in the curriculum for Fall 2019.