The future is here! NHL’s simulation and game-based learning hub is now open

LEEUWARDEN – Gaming and learning at the same time? Sounds like a dream of the most contemporary students. Wednesday, April 12th, was the official opening day of SIGA lab – first simulation and game-based learning research laboratory in Leeuwarden.

By: Eimantas Zemaitis – photo: Sjoerd Zwaan

Immediately after entering the premises, one could notice that this wasn’t a regular day at NHL university. F34 flight simulator, shipping simulator, 3D selfies and virtual reality games reminded everyone – future is already here – we just need to make use of the technologies available to us.

Therefore, an open day was organized in NHL university. Students and other interested people were invited to participate in the various workshops and demonstrations of what SIGA-lab is about.

New approach
The lab introduces a new approach towards game-based learning. It helps to gain knowledge and experience using simulators, serious games and virtual reality devices with for the sake of education, development, training, assessment and research. The primary goal of this new NHL university’s hub is promoting the opportunities that game and simulation technologies offer for professional development.

Thirteen games
The games are organized to help players develop their leadership, teamwork, communication, project management, crisis management and ethical skills. Currently, the lab offers a selection of thirteen games – Team Up, ArrA, Play Your Strengths, Artemis, Keep Talking, Capture, Cyber game, Burgemeestersgame, Integrity, Communicatiestijlengame, Bablr, Esch Cape and DISC. And while these game titles do not resemble best-seller games such as “Call of Duty” or GTA, remember that their primary objective is development of professional skills.

Here is a video introducing the game play of Team Up:

Serious work
Although the lab appears to be all about gaming, plenty of serious work happens there too, since most of the playing sessions are also research-oriented.

Game-based learning and serious gaming is an active trend which inspires many entrepreneurs. Naveen Jain, a well known entrepreneur, and philantropist has said this: ,,Just think of the opportunities we can unlock by making education as addictive as a video game. This type of experiential, addictive learning improves decision-making skills and increases the processing speed and spatial skills of the brain. When was the last time your child asked for help with a video game?”

If you’re interested in trying out SIGA-lab for yourself, register yourself and your friends here (free for NHL students).

More information about SIGA-LAB (only in Dutch) can be found here.