Integrating BIM and gaming to support building operation: the case of a new hospital


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NOKOBIT - Norsk konferanse for organisasjoners bruk av informasjonsteknologi;22(1)



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Moving into a new hospital requires healthcare professionals to adapt to a new work environment. Workflows, processes, and competencies become obsolete and need to be tailored for the new hospital. This paper explores a role-play serious game developed for the purpose of familiarizing professionals with their new work environment. A three-dimensional virtual prototype of the new hospital building created from Building Information Modeling technology, served as the graphical environment in which the game was staged. The game, namely the “Ward”, is intended to provide healthcare professionals with a virtual training ground for exercising new work processes. We conducted a series of interviews with the client, healthcare experts, and the software developers involved in developing the games. Our intention of doing so was twofold: attaining an understanding of how Building Information Modeling data has been integrated into the game and exploring how the game’s functionalities had been fitted to best support the healthcare professionals in their learning. By exploring the process of the game’s development we were able to point out shortcomings in current practice and to suggest areas for improvement. These are (1) use of crossover modules, (2) increased collaboration, (3) clear communication of information needs, and (4) better contractual agreements. The gameplay could be further improved by increasing the amount of non-player characters. Moreover, we just begin to understand how pedagogical concepts for games conveying architectural designs can be built. This indicates that developing such concepts is an intriguing avenue for further research. We argue that the findings are useful for practitioners and researchers interested in integrating BIM and gaming technology.


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