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Rutgers University’s School of Biomedical and Health Sciences was in need of an affordable, interactive way to give students hands-on experience using home assessments to modify home accessibility for patients with physical disabilities. The difficulty was coming up with a method that would not require the purchase of actual real estate and remodeling equipment. After researching various possibilities, Rutgers decided that a 3D Serious Game would best suit their needs.
After a detailed analysis, Designing Digitally, Inc. developed the Living Independent Virtual Environment (L.I.V.E.), a Serious Game which assists and assesses students’ abilities to understand and apply the necessary modifications to make a home accessible to patients’ individual needs. L.I.V.E. is an immersive 3D environment that allows students to walk through four types of houses that need remodeling: a ranch, a townhouse, and two different multi-story homes. These four different houses, or levels, provide students with varying environmental situations, fostering critical thinking. As the levels progress they become more complex, pushing students to learn and retain the information they’ve been provided.
At the beginning of each lesson students are given a case scenario, which provides them with information about a particular patient’s situation. Students must then consider the type of house and how they can modify it for accessibility. Throughout L.I.V.E., students learn to understand the difference between what alterations could and/or need to be made.
The types of adjustments that can be made to the houses cover a wide range of features. Students are able to lower kitchen countertops, widening doorways, changing flooring surfaces, moving furniture, adding exterior access ramps, and so much more. Designing Digitally, Inc. and Rutgers University professors worked collaboratively to ensure L.I.V.E. provided students with an inexpensive, entertaining, and educational experience all in one.