Rosie 1 is based upon a real child protection home visit by a social worker. Although the visit initially appeared benign, the social worker is exposed to unexpected people, reactions and events as it progresses.
This ‘serious game’ developed by social work researchers at the University of Kent provides a safe new medium to explore child protection assessment and offers professionals, at different stages of their careers, a unique way to evaluate child protection situations.
The 3D virtual reality technology offers those involved in child protection the opportunity to evaluate and re-evaluate child protection situations safely and try out other ways of behaving or reacting to a situation, without serious consequences, or anyone else seeing and commenting. It enables participants to move around the environment to be assessed, explore features of the house in which the child resides and study conversation choices and subsequent reactions from the other characters.
Rosie 1 took me about 10 – 15 minutes to complete initally, and longer when I began selecting and thinking about the different approaches. Each time it was a realistic and thought-provoking experience that I would highly recommend for developing social work skills. I think I’d have found the experience even better if an instruction sheet were available that could be printed and kept alongside the computer whilst installing and playing.
This prototype was released in June 2011. It is currently a free 57mb download, and the minimum requirement to run the game is Windows XP – the prototype is not Mac compatible. Rosie 2, the University of Kent’s follow-on serious training game is available to purchase online from £200 at http://www.kent.ac.uk/sspssr/ccp
Download and play the free Rosie 1 from www.kent.ac.uk/sspssr/ccp