Serious Game for Mission Critical Training

Mission critical facilities such as data centers, hospitals, and bio labs secure vital information for their clients. If power goes out or if interior temperatures fluctuate, clients can lose millions. To prevent catastrophic loss, mission critical facilities must stay online running at optimum temperatures 24/7, 365 days a year.

It falls to mission critical operator technicians to ensure uninterrupted service. When a city experiences a power outage or when cooling systems fail, mission critical operators are onsite to maintain power and air. Their operating principle is no interruptions: no exceptions.

Job skills for mission critical operators include critical thinking, mechanical skills, and electrical skills. When systems fail, equipment redundancies and power back-ups kick in. Meanwhile, mission critical operators must rapidly troubleshoot by drilling down to points of failure.

Where can you get training in this growing field?

Wake Tech Community College (WTCC) offers a degree in mission critical operations. To supplement their curriculum, WTCC wanted to give their students the opportunity to problem-solve numerous critical failures from the safety of a simulation. To meet that need, WTCC turned to Virtual Heroes to develop a 3D interactive virtual facility and training environment.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, Mission Critical Operator is a serious game that supplements WTCC’s curriculum. Mission Critical Operator confronts the player with alarms, power outages, and failures to equipment such as generators, chillers, UPS, and cooling units. Students must locate these failures using the Building Management System (BMS) software. They must move quickly to equipment rooms, solve problems, and troubleshoot efficiently under time pressure. Throughout the game, a mentor figure named Charles provides guidance and pro tips.

Serious games use the engaging power of video games to drive learning and training. Serious games enable players to try, fail, experiment, and succeed, all within the safety of a virtual environment. “Virtual Heroes is expert in delivering serious games, virtual training, and simulations to meet government, education, health, and public service needs, and we were honored to be selected by WTCC to create this groundbreaking cloud-based virtual MCO curriculum,” said Randy Brown, ARA’s Vice President and Virtual Heroes Division Manager.

Jennifer Lawson, Mission Critical Operator Grant Project Director at WTCC, states, “We love the Mission Critical Operator simulation built by the Applied Research Associates’ Virtual Heroes Division. It is definitely one of the best tools we have to familiarize our students with the equipment and safety precautions needed every day as a Mission Critical Operations Technician.” Mission Critical Operator was awarded a silver medal in the 2016 International Serious Play Competition.

Applied Research Associates: Virtual Heroes Division develops serious games and distributed, desktop simulations for the training and education of mission critical job skills using the most advanced computer game technology. Virtual Heroes has won multiple awards for our simulations, serious games, and 3D virtual worlds that provide interactive learning solutions. See our portfolio for examples of serious games and 3D training applications.