REVRLaw: An Immersive Way for Teaching Criminal Law Using Virtual Reality

  • Markos MentzelopoulosEmail author
  • James Parrish
  • Paresh Kathrani
  • Daphne Economou
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 621)


Computer games have now been around for over three decades and the term serious games has been attributed to the use of computer games that are thought to have educational value. Game-based learning (GBL) has been applied in a number of different fields such as medicine, languages and software engineering. Furthermore, serious games can be a very effective as an instructional tool and can assist learning by providing an alternative way of presenting instructions and content on a supplementary level, and can promote student motivation and interest in subject matter resulting in enhanced learning effectiveness. REVRLaw (REal and Virtual Reality Law) is a research project that the departments of Law and Computer Science of Westminster University have proposed as a new framework in which law students can explore a real case scenario using Virtual Reality (VR) technology to discover important pieces of evidence from a real-given scenario and make up their mind over the crime case if this is a murder or not. REVRLaw integrates the immersion into VR as the perception of being physically present in a non-physical world. The paper presents the prototype game and the mechanics used to make students focus on the crime case and make the best use of this immersive learning approach.


Educational games Cognition Interactive learning environments Virtual environment Head Up Display (H.U.D.) 


  1. 1.
    Hoover, L.: The 2011 Horizon report: challenges and innovation in classroom: conference report. J. Electron. Resour. Librarianship 24(1), 55–57 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Zyda, M.: From visual simulation to virtual reality to games. IEEE Comput. 38, 25–32 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bogdanovych, A., Ijaz, K., Simoff, S.: The city of Uruk: teaching ancient history in a virtual world. In: Nakano, Y., Neff, M., Paiva, A., Walker, M. (eds.) IVA 2012. LNCS, vol. 7502, pp. 28–35. Springer, Heidelberg (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Economou, D., Doumanis, I., Bouki, V., Pedersen, F., Kathrani, P., Mentzelopoulos, M., Georgalas, N.: A dynamic role-playing platform for simulations in legal and political education. In: Proceedings of the IMCL 2014 International Conference on Interactive Mobile Communication Technologies and Learning, 13–14 November 2014, pp. 232–236. IEEE, Thessaloniki (2014)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Koeffel, C., Hochleitner, W., Leitner, J., Haller, M., Geven, A., Tscheligi, M.: Using heuristics to evaluate the overall user experience of video games and advanced interaction games. In: Bernhaupt, R. (ed.) Evaluating User Experience in Games. Human-Computer Interaction Series, pp. 233–256. Springer, Heidelberg (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Craig, A.B., William, R.S., Jeffrey, D.W.: Developing Virtual Reality Applications: Foundations of Effective Design. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, Burlington (2009)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Zhuang, C.H., Wang, P.: Virtual Reality Technology and Applications. Publishing House of Electronics Industry Beijing, Beijing (2010). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Staker, H., Horn, B.M.: Classifying K-12 Blended Learning (2012). Accessed 12 May 2015
  9. 9.
    Bilton, J., Esher High School: Motivation and cognitive load in the flipped classroom: definition, rationale and a call for research. High. Educ. Res. Dev. ahead-of-print 34, 1–14 (2014)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Pinelle, D., Wong, N., Stach, T.: Heuristic evaluation for games: usability principles for videogame design. In: Proceeding of the Twenty-Sixth Annual SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2008, Florence, Italy, 05–10 April 2008, pp. 1453–1462. ACM, New York (2008)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Schaffer, N.: Heuristics for usability in games. Technical report, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (2007). Accessed 07 Dec 2008
  12. 12.
    Desurvire, H., Caplan, M., Toth, J.A.: Using heuristics to evaluate the playability of games. In: CHI 2004 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2004, Vienna, Austria, 24–29 April 2004, pp. 1509–1512. ACM, New York (2004)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Federoff, M.A.: Heuristics and usability guidelines for the creation and evaluation of fun in videogames. Master’s thesis, Department of Telecommunications, Indiana University (2002)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Koivisto, E.M.I., Korhonen, H.: Mobile game playability heuristics. Forum Nokia (2006). Accessed 07 Dec 2008
  15. 15.
    Röcker, C., Haar, M.: Exploring the usability of videogame heuristics for pervasive game development in smart home environments. In: Magerkurth, C., Chalmers, M., Björk, S., Schäfer, L. (eds.) Proceedings of the Third International Workshop on Pervasive Gaming Applications – PerGames 2006, pp. 199–206. Springer, Heidelberg (2006)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    4PM, Criminel (2015). Accessed 14 May 2016
  17. 17.
    Square Enix, Murdered: Soul Suspect (2014). Accessed 14 May 2016
  18. 18.
    Team Bondi, Rockstar Games (2011). Accessed 14 May 2016

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Markos Mentzelopoulos
    • 1
    Email author
  • James Parrish
    • 1
  • Paresh Kathrani
    • 2
  • Daphne Economou
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Science and TechnologyUniversity of WestminsterLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of LawUniversity of WestminsterLondonUK

Personalised recommendations