Nominated games

Serious gaming is developing quickly and TPM excels in it! Various games that have been developed at Systems Engineering together with other parties have been nominated for prizes.
A few examples: 



CRAFT is a mechatronics game for the Mechatronics sector, developed by TPM, Kenteq and LittleChicken. In CRAFT, the pupil is the Mechatronics engineer who learns how to mill and to work a lathe, for example. The game provides the requisite theoretical knowledge. By carrying out the tasks correctly, the pupil earnscredits which he or she can use to construct a breathtaking roller coaster. The game has been nominated for the Dutch Industry Awards and the 2012 Dutch Game Awards.  

Veerkracht (Resilience) 

This management game trains ‘servant leadership’ competencies at a semi-public government agency. The game has been nominated for the Best Government Game. 

Routemaster en Ranger

The games Routemaster and Ranger are two MicroGames, developed by former TU Delft students who run the very successful gaming company InThere. These games are connected to a portal, through which results, data and information are stored better and are linked to a user profile. This gives the player more insight into his or her progress. Both games have been nominated for the Best Government Game.

A serious game developed by TPM for the Rotterdam Eye Hospital

Heide Lukosch (l.) en Jaco Appelman (r.) at the Rotterdam Eye Hospital 

In view of safer operations 

The success of an eye operation is closely linked with teamwork in the operating room. In order to perfect this aspect, TPM developed a Safety Game together with the Rotterdam Eye Hospital and Vertigo Games. The scenarios from the OR are true to life and should increase safety awareness, using the motto of ‘no-one is perfect, but a team is’.  

As a Centre of Excellence, the Rotterdam Eye Hospital is the recognised knowledge and treatment centre for ophthalmic care. Each year 140,000 operations are performed here. Improving patient safety has been a continuous priority for the last twelve years. “To err is human,” according to Director Frans Hiddema, “but every avoidable error is one error too many. In order to improve the safety of our care, we employ principles that are used in aviation. This sector is renowned for its safe-working practice and is therefore a great source of inspiration.” 

Flying has become considerably safer over the last thirty years due to clear agreements and protocols and good cooperation between various disciplines. Work has also been done on a safe culture. Hiddema: “In the past, the prevailing culture was that the captain was the boss who couldn't be contradicted. Nowadays, it's recognised that you fly as a team, under the leadership of the captain. That's a completely different approach. This is where we're also heading in the operating room, which displays great similarities with a cockpit: the OR team operates, under the leadership of the surgeon.”  


To start with the OR staff took training courses in a flight simulator. “We deliberately chose an environment that was foreign to everyone, so that no-one had a head start,” explains Hiddema. “Everyone was forced to work with each other. If that didn't happen, the aircraft crashed. However, after a few of these training courses, the challenge disappeared and so did the enthusiasm. When I came into contact with professor Veen of TU Delft four years ago, the idea arose to develop a serious game. We then developed a concept in collaboration with Vertigo Games for ‘designing, playing and evaluating together’. The operating room was filmed in order to create as realistic an image as possible with the OR team members as sorts of avatars. The game is now ready and research can be carried out into the effects.”

Simulation games in order to motivate or for teaching purposes are a contemporary phenomenon. “What is very innovative about the Eye Hospital's Safety Game is that the design phase has deliberately been used to encourage motivation and education,” explains Dr Jaco Appelman, assistant professor of Systems Engineering. “The doctors and hospital staff have been actively involved in developing the game. They acted in 3D suits in the OR and discussed at length what is actually involved in all this. This resulted in fewer errors being made in the initial phase of the game, which saved a great deal of time. This approach is unique.”

While they were developing the game, the researchers made an interesting discovery. “Of course in the Eye Hospital they work according to fixed protocols, but it turned out that there were variations in how these were carried out. Every surgeon did things slightly differently. By talking about this together, the best working method could be chosen as the standard way of working. Everyone is now able work according to this best practice. Quality improvement therefore already begins in the game's development phase. By explicitly supporting this phase, you are already working on your objective from the very start. In effect, design, evaluation and monitoring are becoming increasingly aligned with each other.

More understanding 

A great deal can be gained with the Safety Game. Appelman: “Of course you cannot make mistakes during an operation, as this could have disastrous effects. Operation teams can prevent many of these by making proper arrangements and by addressing each other when unsafe situations arise. The Safety Game can help in this. Each OR member is actually able to fulfil every role: the anaesthetist can be the surgeon, anaesthetist, assistant surgeon or OR assistant, and vice versa. This enables everyone to understand each other better and creates more respect for each other's knowledge and skills. This brings the whole team closer and increases safety.” 

The single-player version of the Safety Game has been tested twice in the form of a walk-through. This means that you walk through all aspects of the game with the whole operation team, the design team and a researcher. The purpose of this is to see whether the game meets the requirements and is accepted, and where necessary to introduce improvements. It is now time to implement the multi-player version. Appelman: “We subsequently hope to measure and evaluate whether over time the game leads to team-oriented behaviour and fewer errors. The great thing about this Game is that you know why you are doing it. If it is effective, more people will be able to enjoy improved eyesight and for longer.”  

Heide Lukosch, assistant professor of Gaming and Simulation, worked closely with Appelman. She looks above all at the substantive aspects of serious games, with questions such as: How can serious games influence consciousness-raising processes? How should such a game be constructed? Which elements can influence the learning process? “We deliberately made the game very realistic, to enable us to observe closely what people think of it and how they can learn from it.” The first two tests with the operation team went well, except for a couple of small issues. “the reality appeared to be well simulated, but very small issues that were not correct were immediately pointed out. For example, a stool was used by the surgeon when this should have been a chair.

”What was also evident was that participants appreciated some form of a competition. “In the game, materials have to be got ready for the operation. One of the tasks is to find these materials as quickly as possible. This was experienced as fun and motivating. Don't forget, we're dealing with experts here, all of them highly educated people. You just can't offer them a simple computer game. Only a serious simulation will catch on.

” It cannot be determined at this stage what the final learning effect will be. Lukosch: “A tentative conclusion is, however, that learning, motivation and intention to change behaviour – which should lead to fewer human errors – are being influenced positively.” 

What results does TPM expect from the Safety Game?

  • More insight into whether Serious Gaming as a methodology also leads to learning and acceptance of the implementation of measures aimed at increasing safety/quality. If we are able to demonstrate this and relate the findings to the four dimensions of a safety culture, it would then be possible to draw conclusions about learning and games. It will not be possible to link these to a safety culture in a one-to-one sense.
  • To develop and test an observation and analysis protocol that ties the various evaluation methods to be used into a Gaming-based instrument.
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