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Serious Games For Construction Workers With Limited On-Site Experience

The Whitecard Game brings to the table an interesting approach to deliver safety training to construction workers with limited on-site experience. The game creates an ideal context for learning for the targeted group – workers with low levels of traditional literacy skills due to non-English speaking backgrounds or other sociocultural considerations.

The first-person RPG immersion promotes an increasing awareness building, as the three different game levels unfold and players face unexpected, and often dramatic, consequences mostly derived from HSE “near misses”.  

The project is a collaboration between Victoria University and Oztron Media, and is funded by the National VET E-Learning Strategy.


Through a first person perspective the goal of the game is to identify, control and report workplace hazards on a construction site without getting injured or causing the death of workmates. By creating a virtual experience of being on a building site, the game offers real life challenges, problems and risks, yet provides a safe place in which to learn and explore.

Learners undertake contextualized tasks, which involves learning by making mistakes. The mistakes are experienced in the game as a death sequence resulting from a failure to address the safety requirements, and through these experiences the learner comes to understand OHS requirements in the work environment.

The Whitecard Game was designed so that interaction was contextually linked with learning goals thereby involving metacognitive processes when engaging with the learning task and content rather than simply focusing on winning.

The game enables learning for diverse audiences in a variety of locations by allowing training organizations to offer asynchronous learning in the workplace or classroom based synchronous training facilitated by a teacher or trainer. The product can be delivered to regional and remote locations, including construction workers building infrastructure for remote mining and development projects. The game was also targeted at young learners who are likely to be responsive to and highly literate in new technologies, even when disengaged with other social or learning structures.

The Whitecard Game 
was selected as a finalist in the 2013 Serious Game Showcase and Challenge in the Business Category, one of the seven award categories of the SGS&C, at the 2013 Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) held in Orlando, FL, December 2013.