Last month I Expect You To Die developer Schell Games announced its latest project, an educational experience called HoloLAB Champions which puts you into a chemistry themed gameshow. Today, the videogame has arrived for HTC Vive on Steam with Schell Games offering the title to schools and educators for free.
With HoloLAB Champions players learn real lab practice skills to complete experiments within a virtual lab. Using a game show-style setting there are a series of mini-labs that lead up to a final lab challenge. Developed in partnership with students, educators, and RAND Corporation, Schell Games used chemistry and educational experts for content development with HoloLAB Champions funded in part by a SBIR grant from the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education.
“HoloLAB Champions is important because it teaches students about science and lab safety in an environment that is both educational and engaging,” said Jesse Schell, CEO of Schell Games. “Virtual reality is still a new and relatively untapped space so we are excited to see it being used in classroom settings. We look forward to gauging its effects on learning outcomes and student engagement in the future.”
Depending on whether players can perform tasks safely and accurately they score achievements. Completing an event awards an elemental trophy meaning players will be placed in the famed Hall of Brains. Additionally, a Practice Mode is available allowing players to hone their skills for the main challenges.
HoloLAB Champions features two, 30 – 40 minute episodes, the first being Chemiluminescence, where correct amounts of liquid and solid ingredients need to be mixed to create a glowing chemical solution. The second episode, Identify Unknowns, players must correctly identify various substances with limited reference knowledge.
“With a few exceptions, typical classrooms haven’t changed much since our parents were in school,” said Dr. Brooke Morrill, Director of Education at Schell Games in a statement. “As technology becomes more powerful and a larger part of our everyday lives, supporting classrooms in harnessing unique, effective tools to meet the needs of today’s students is essential. With HoloLAB Champions, we are offering an innovative way for students to learn the basics of lab practice while also providing educators with resources for incorporating this game into their classrooms.”
Free for educational instructors, students, and facilities, HoloLAB Champions is available for $9.99 USD on Steam with a 20 percent discount during launch week.