Interactive Video Games as Safety Training Tool

As reported on, scientists at the University of Arizona are developing an interactive computer game to train miners in handling dangerous situations. The game is supposed to prepare mine workers for a case of emergency and make them familiar with rescue procedures.


“Our goal is to eliminate accidents and fatalities in mining,” says John R. M. “Ros” Hill, director of the San Xavier Mining Laborator and a professor of practice in the department of mining and geological engineering. “We’re approaching it from a training standpoint of how can we best develop a tool that miners could use that would teach them to make appropriate decisions or see where wrong decisions have been made.”

The standard training approach has been a paper packet of information to read through, with summary questions at the end. Hill and Brown [Leonard D. Brown, a doctoral candidate in the department of computer science at the University of Arizona] are taking a different approach: By allowing miners to play the role of characters in each situation, they can make decisions leading to alternate outcomes and can replay the games as many times as necessary to understand the potential consequences of each decision they make.

Image Credit: Leonard Brown/U. Arizona