This paper will report on the actual process of repurposing a defence simulation tool to support induction training in the resources sector. A groundbreaking project on an international scale, Project Canary was built on the VBS2 engine by QinetiQ for the Mining Industry Skills Centre, and launched in (2009) amidst a booming resources sector. Four years on, the disruptive nature of this project is better understood, and the growing prevalence of serious games in heavy industry reflects the relevance of this work. The research goal for this paper was to illustrate how serious games could be used to develop appropriate behaviour within employees around safety critical decision-making in the context of general safety inductions. It addresses four questions: 1) how and to what degree using a defence tool helps overcome cultural barriers associated with bringing games technology to legislation-driven training 2) how to design the tool to maximise learning outcomes and training efficiency,3) how to scale the tool to meet multiple training requirements and 4) how to deliver a commercially viable outcome for the business. The paper highlights issues emerging across the life cycle of the two-year project, from conception to implementation, covering the stages of learning design, concept development, vendor sourcing and acquisition, team formation, scenario design, commercialisation, marketing and training. Key insights relate to the unexpected cultural barriers and skills gaps that emerged from bringing defence capabilities to a sector that is usually considered to have a considerable appetite for innovation.
Deanna Hutchinson/The Simulation Agency