Machinima and Video-Based Soft-Skills Training for Frontline Healthcare Workers

Games Health J. 2013 Feb;2(1):39-43. doi: 10.1089/g4h.2012.0063. Epub 2013 Jan 3.


Multimedia training methods have traditionally relied heavily on video-based technologies, and significant research has shown these to be very effective training tools. However, production of video is time and resource intensive. Machinima technologies are based on videogaming technology. Machinima technology allows videogame technology to be manipulated into unique scenarios based on entertainment or training and practice applications. Machinima is the converting of these unique scenarios into video vignettes that tell a story. These vignettes can be interconnected with branching points in much the same way that education videos are interconnected as vignettes between decision points. This study addressed the effectiveness of machinima-based soft-skills education using avatar actors versus the traditional video teaching application using human actors in the training of frontline healthcare workers. This research also investigated the difference between presence reactions when using avatar actor-produced video vignettes as compared with human actor-produced video vignettes. Results indicated that the difference in training and/or practice effectiveness is statistically insignificant for presence, interactivity, quality, and the skill of assertiveness. The skill of active listening presented a mixed result indicating the need for careful attention to detail in situations where body language and facial expressions are critical to communication. This study demonstrates that a significant opportunity exists for the exploitation of avatar actors in video-based instruction.