• Chris Brits - CEO, EBnet

Virtual Reality Games Build Real World Skills

Training is essential to build knowledge and understanding. Finding better ways to do so is essential if one wants to ensure increased effectiveness and impact. Humans are visual creatures and around 90% of all information sent to our brains is visual in nature. Add to this audio and own muscle movement and you have a winning recipe.

Virtual Reality (VR) creates an immersive environment where subject matter is presented in a visually stunning, 3D format that most people will find far more appealing than regular old text or sitting in a classroom viewing a PowerPoint presentation.

VR is receiving a lot of attention these days thanks to devices such as Oculus Rift and Gear VR. In actual fact, VR based training has for quite a while already been used by companies, academia, and the military!

VR based training puts the trainee in a 3D environment relevant to the subject matter via a specially designed audio-visual headset. The advantages of such an approach are many as it cuts out distractions and totally immerses the trainee in the simulation, to the point where they begin to respond to it just as they would in a real-life situation.

Greater immersion can also increase material retention and since the trainees can practice their skills as many times as needed, the knowledge becomes part of their muscle memory, too.

In other words, not only will trainees acquire information relevant to their job, but they can start practising their skills right from day one.

Augmented Reality (AR) is a similar technology except in this instance, instructions, artefacts and other elements are superimposed into a real-world scene. These inserted items can only be viewed through the augmented reality device and becomes part of the total scene.

An interactive game in either VR or AR format with a financial / retirement planning undertone in which the player follows different paths leading to either a positive or negative conclusion and in the case of the latter, being able to backtrack and see where things went wrong, could be a powerful and memorable experience.

As a country with one of the worst savings rates, we need to explore all possible avenues to help educate people on how to work with their finances and plan for their futures.

VR and AR technology is here today and offers a brilliant and effective solution to take us beyond just entertainment to a world where it can make a material difference to retirment scenarios of the new generation.