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Scientists Develop Computer Games to Keep Miners Safe

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A scene from the occupational safety training game for miners.

Leonard Brown's computer games have intricate scenarios and built-in consequences, for example when crew members are injured in the process of evacuating the mine. The player must decide what to do to get his crew to safety.

Credit: Leonard Brown

University of Arizona researchers are developing interactive computer games to train miners to avoid fatal accidents and potential emergencies while working in mines.

"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," says Arizona professor John R. M. Hill.

The games enable miners to play various roles in different situations so they can learn to 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.

"These interactive fatalgrams enhance the learning experience by pairing visual information with events leading to fatal incidents, to help miners understand the accidents and the need for relevant safety practices," says Arizona's Leonard D. Brown.

he game simulations also are designed to train miners when to respond to a mine emergency, such as a fire in an underground mine. "One of the objectives of our simulations is to get users more involved in the learning process, to make them think critically in the context of the situation," Brown says.

From UA News (AZ)
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