Virtual Values is a joint collaboration between the University of Roehampton, and ORT France to develop a virtual game for business students and employees to gain a keen understanding and sensitivity to ethical issues that regularly arise when working in business. The game covers a range of work-related ethical issues such as mis-selling, misrepresentation, sexual harassment, bribery, whistle-blowing, and data fraud. It also introduces players to ethical theoretical concepts, codes of conduct and stakeholder analysis. It challenges players to examine their personal values and perspectives as they explore issues that occur in familiar environments. The game is designed to be easily adaptable to business needs – bespoke dilemmas can be added to meet specific business requirements.
The player experiences the game through the character of Anna as they explore the different levels, pick up clues, and gain points by interacting with characters who prompt them to make ethical decisions. After each level the player completes a short quiz to test their knowledge of concepts learned in the game, before moving on to the next level. Anna is presented with some difficult choices to make to achieve her business objectives and, based on player choices, she proceeds to reach a final conclusion.
The underlying story plot is told via comic book pages, which appear when activated as clues. Using 3D Animation, within an interactive, virtual environment the game consists of 5-6 levels (depending on player choices) which take place in four main areas – Anna’s office, a park, a party, and the home office of Matt (the party-giver). On average the game takes approximately 2-3 hours to complete and can be saved and accessed anywhere with a broadband connection to continue at the player’s convenience.
Player points accumulate in the clue counter as clues are collected and conversations completed. All clues are available after each level for the player to access outside the game. There are a total of 5 possible conclusions in this particular game and the user is allowed to return to complete as many different paths as they choose to see other conclusions and accrue more points. The top ten totals can be seen on the game leaderboard available on the website.
The game is accessed via the web on a Chrome or Firefox browser. It uses WebGL technology on a Unity platform but if not available to the user (either due to low processor capability or browser access) can be played using an easily downloadable Unity plug-in.