Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Chapter 12
When Control Education is
the Name of the Game
António Pessoa de Magalhães
Universidade do Porto, Portugal
Bernard Riera
Reims University, France
Bruno Vigário
Real Games Lda, Portugal
This chapter is about a serious game named ITS PLC, an interactive simulation tool aimed at control
systems education and training that includes the latest technologies from the video and computer games
industry; namely, real-time 3D graphics, physics and sound. The goal of the game is to make five virtual
industrial plants work correctly by using an external and real programmable logic controller (PLC)
running the proper software, which the trainee must develop. The main purpose of the chapter is to tes-
tify the excellent properties of ITS PLC as an educational tool throughout a collection of three success
stories: the first one shows how virtual scenarios can be used to investigate real problems; the usage
of ITS PLC in an “edutainment” scenario is the theme of the second story; the third case testifies the
benefits of ITS PLC in introductory automation programs.
not so young) people. Whist recreation activities
extremely immersive and addictive are a natural
and understandable worry for parents and educa-
tors, computer games can teach young children
to read and count, as well as help middle school
students to learn about science and technology
(Underwood, 2009), (The Entertainment Software
Association, 2010) and (Kuo, 2007). Moreover,
computer games are also enabling the creation of
“synthetic environments” from where scientific
Video games are fascinating, and probably in-
escapable, attracting kids to consoles as bees to
honey. In a way or another, video games have
impacted many kids' lives during the last de-
cades, and presently, playing computer games is
a favourite leisure activity for most young (and
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