Interdisciplinary and collaborative projects between industry and academia provide exceptional opportunities for learning. Project Sanitarium is a serious game for Windows PC and Tablet which aims to embed learning about tuberculosis (TB) through the player taking on the role of a doctor and solving cases across the globe. The project developed as a collaboration between staff and undergraduate students at the School of Arts, Media and Computer Games at Abertay University working with academics and researchers from the Infection Group at the University of St Andrews. The project also engaged industry partners Microsoft and DeltaDNA. The project aimed to educate students through a workplace simulation pedagogical model, encourage public engagement at events and through news coverage and lastly to prototype whether games could be used to simulate a virtual clinical trial. The project was embedded in the Abertay undergraduate programme where students are presented with real world problems to solve through design and technology. The result was a serious game prototype that utilized game design techniques and technology to demystify and educate players about the diagnosis and treatment of one of the world’s oldest and deadliest diseases, TB. Project Sanitarium aims to not only educate the player, but allows the player to become a part of a simulated drug trial that could potentially help create new treatments in the fight against TB. The game incorporates a mathematical model that is based on data from real-world drug trials. The interdisciplinary pedagogical model provides undergraduates with workplace simulation, wider industry collaboration and access to academic expertise to solve challenging and complex problems.
Donald, I., Meyer, K. A., Brengman, J., Gillespie, S. H., & Bowness, R. (2017). Project sanitarium: playing tuberculosis to its end game. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 29(3), 599-617. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12528-017-9145-1