PLAY Virtual World

The story of the game revolves around a campus where students have been “infected” with a strange “illness” – symptoms are sweating, trembling, heart palpitations, heavy breathing, inability to concentrate, and think clearly. You have a “mission” – to find and help students who are infected – the infected are creating negative energy and disrupting campus life; help them before it spreads.

PLAY Virtual World consists of 9 scenarios and scenario 0 which is the tutorial:
Scenario name
Scenario 0 – Learn the 3DVW environment
Scenario 1 – Exam anxiety/ Facing an exam
Scenario 2 – Dealing with a bad exam result
Scenario 3 – Issues related to mature and distance learning students’ stress
Scenario 4 – Dealing with a difficult assignment
Scenario 5 – Dealing with a group assignment
Scenario 6 – Socialising- getting to know others
Scenario 7 – Adapting to university/college life
Scenario 8 – Talking to lecturers/seeking support
Scenario 9 – Life after university/college
Bellow, you can learn more about each scenario and download their educational material:

Scenario 0 – Learn the 3DVW environment

Scenario 0 is the tutorial of the PLAY Virtual World. Here you will learn the basics of navigation and communication within the game. The tutorial consists of 11 steps, each of which is represented by a separate banner. Click on each banner to get instructions, starting from 1 and moving to the next. Read the instructions carefully while observing the images that are displayed.

Scenario 1 – Exam anxiety/ Facing an exam

This scenario relates to the experience of undertaking an exam. Exam situations can be anxiety provoking, stressful and, for some students, overwhelming. Coping with your own anxiety, whilst also being aware of the anxiety of those around you, can pose considerable challenges. In this scenario, anxiety is spreading throughout the exam hall and is adversely impacting your ability to complete your exam. Consider how you might be able to help reduce the anxiety of those around you, as well as your own anxiety response in this situation, in order to allow you and your peers to successfully complete the exam.

Scenario 2 – Dealing with a bad exam result

Receiving a bad exam result can be upsetting and cause people to doubt themselves and their abilities. In this scenario you are on the way to receive your exam result in the library when you meet your friend Helen who is very stressed as they have received a poor result in the exam. Although they will have the opportunity to repeat the exam, they are anxious and engaging in a lot of negative self-talk. Consider how our thoughts can influence our feelings and behaviours.

Scenario 3 – Issues related to mature and distance learning students’ stress

For mature and distance learning students there can be additional stresses to completing their university degree such as financial pressure, family responsibilities, time constraints etc. These challenges can cause students to contemplate dropping out of college. In this scenario you are faced with these pressures and are contemplating whether or not you should drop out of your course. You also hear and discuss with other mature and distance students about how they are feeling and what they intend to do.

Scenario 4 – Dealing with a difficult assignment

Completing difficult assignments and adhering to deadlines can be challenging for students. In this scenario, a group of students are working towards submitting an assignment for a fast approaching deadline. Students within the group are experiencing differing levels of anxiety in relation to this assignment and one of your classmates in particular is struggling to finish the assignment on time and is displaying a considerable level of anxiety as a result.

Scenario 5 – Dealing with a group assignment

Group projects can pose challenges for students as they may not know the people that they will be working with. Students will have different ideas, work ethics and personalities. Every member of the group needs to work together in order to complete the assignment and achieve a successful grade. Problem solving and the ability to compromise are important aspects of group work. In this scenario, one of your classmates is nervous about a group work task as they are worried about the ability of themselves and the remaining group members to successfully complete the task, and what the resulting outcome will be with regards to their grade. Consider strategies to reduce this anxiety and maximise team work in this scenario.

Scenario 6 – Socialising- getting to know others

The ability to develop positive interpersonal relationships is an important aspect of the university experience. However, some students can find social situations very anxiety provoking and this anxiety may act as a barrier to them from developing friendships. In this scenario, you are attending a college social event and will interact with a variety of students, some of whom may be feeling nervous about the social event.

Scenario 7 – Adapting to university/college life

This scenario involves you having the opportunity to interact with other students to discuss issues related to the process of adapting to college life. Whether you are a student experiencing the campus environment for the first time or going back to the campus life after spending the vacation at home, there will be a period of adjustment. Life at college naturally generates both excitement and anxiety for many reasons including the move, the academic responsibilities, and the process of meeting new people. Many students on campus worry about connecting socially with others, and, thus, may struggle with loneliness. Moreover, some students find college classes difficult and draining, and, as a result, may have to invest a considerable number of additional hours into their studies. This scenario helps you talk to someone who can relate to what you are going through and is experiencing similar feelings about their adaptation into college life.

Scenario 8 – Talking to lecturers/seeking support

Students can often feel nervous approaching their lecturers to discuss their grades or communicate personal issues. However, good communication is important for students’ learning and can facilitate greater understanding between staff and students, which, in turn, can be essential to identifying successful solutions to problems as they arise. In this scenario, you are disappointed with a recent grade you received. Similarly, your friend expresses their disappointment with their grade but is nervous about approaching the lecturer to discuss this matter further. Consider how your friend might go about contacting the lecturer so that they can receive constructive feedback on their work which may help to calm some of their concerns about their academic progress and help them to improve their work moving forward.

Scenario 9 – Life after university/college

Graduation is a time to embrace new changes in a student’s life. Sometimes, these challenges prove to be perplexing for even the most prepared students. It can be rather nerve-racking to think about what life is going to throw your way. This scenario involves interacting with fellow students about issues related to life after college (e.g., work related issues, problems after graduation, subsequent study paths, etc.). Managing your financial situation may not have been that challenging up until this point. However, with graduation come financial pressures and challenges that one may never have considered or experienced before. Since there is no guarantee of a good job that will cover all of your expenses, life can appear quite daunting post-graduation. In many cases, graduates may have to go through many jobs before settling on one they are satisfied with. This scenario helps you talk to someone who either understands what you are going through or has similar feelings regarding their entry into the working world and what this transition may entail.

Here are the basic steps to install and configure the Firestorm Viewer application to access the PLAY virtual world.
Step 1:

Download the installation manual here. The manual contains a video with the basic installation instructions which you can also see here:

Step 2:

Install Firestorm Viewer according to the instructions and video. You can download it from here.

Step 3:

Configure Firestorm Viewer by following the instructions on the video or manual and by copying and pasting the following link into the application:

http://play.optionsnet.gr:9000

Step 4:

Create your account and login to the virtual world.

If you wish to keep your anonymity in the virtual world do not use your real name and do not enter an email when creating an account.

Step 5:

Download the consent form here. Then sign it and send it to this email: playerasmus@gmail.com

You are ready! After you have completed your tour in the virtual world do not forget to answer a short questionnaire about your experience.