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Westminster law school follows Pokémon Go trend and launches virtual reality game

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Criminal law-themed “immersive learning experience” coming to lecture theatres soon

University of Westminster
University of Westminster

The University of Westminster will be rolling out an award-winning game to its criminal law students in an attempt to solidify their subject knowledge.

Now that gaming seems to be entering every part of modern life — from employers using video games to boost staff productivity through to early reports that Pokémon Go is leading to a fitness revolution  — law schools may be following suit.

The game, REal and Virtual Reality Law (REVRLaw), is the murder problem question of the future. Launching in November, students on both the LLB course and the integrated masters in law will be immersed in a murder case and have to find evidence before they apply what they know and decide if the offence has taken place.

Westminster’s computer science and law schools came together to create REVRLaw with senior lecturers Markos Mentzelopoulos and Dr Daphne Economou — as well as games development student James Parrish — working with senior lecturer and criminal law module leader Dr Paresh Kathrani.

University of Westminster
University of Westminster

Currently in its testing stage, the game has already caught the attention of the immersive Learning Research Network (iLRN), with the research paper behind the game winning the best paper award at their 2016 conference.

Though he says he doesn’t see it as replacing the more traditional curriculum, one of the games developers, Mentzelopoulos, who also sits on the Serious Games @ Westminster research cluster, hopes:

[T]his new proposed platform will bring a new immersive learning experience to the law students.

Speaking to Legal Cheek, a law student studying at the Westminster campus told us that, while she hasn’t yet got her hands on REVRLaw, she thinks the game:

[W]ill help the teaching because students will receive a ‘real life’ view of what will be required of them as a criminal lawyer.

She hopes the game “will aid their memory in the principles of criminal law”– so hopefully addressing the age-old challenge, the law student’s memory game.

Could this be a step away from backbreaking textbooks towards lecture theatres filled with students wearing headsets or will this be a one-off virtual wonder?

9 Comments

Anonymous

I would’ve loved something like this at uni

(2)(2)

Not Amused

“will be immersed in a murder case and have to find evidence before they apply what they know and decide if the offence has taken place.”

So a training tool to help you become a policeman? That’s fine. We need better policemen (although I’d rather focus their training on manners and courtesy) . But don’t try and pretend it is about being a lawyer.

I can see how augmented reality could be used to teach trusts and equity – but I expect it would require a lawyer to code the software.

(5)(1)

Anonymous

Just seriously no.

Playing a computer game to ‘find evidence’ hardly helps with the understanding of legal principles does it?

(5)(1)

Anonymous

Good fun idea. I imagine the whole course won’t be like this.

Ignore the haters, bro.

(2)(3)

Lord Lyle of the Law of Evidence and Forensic Psychiatry

Evidence is not part of legal principles?

LC . Just what is the point of non lawyers being on your cite?

Btw, the “let’s go champ” retard has re-appeared on yesterday’s round up.

If you want your commentators to consist of psychiatric patients, criminals and clinical retards, allow it, but at least change your name to “Legal Retards” or something to reflect the reality of your cite.

(2)(5)

Corbyn. Sympathiser

Let’s go champ!

(6)(3)

Anonymous

Those attending the University of Westminster could just solidify their ‘knowledge’ by going to the toilet for a number 2….

(6)(1)

Anonymous

Not impressed. If it such a great awarded game that has captured the attention of conferences such as iLRN (seriously how many from the Academic profession know about this conference?) why has not been published in IEEE VR conferences or IEEE journals in Education? Very dodgy..

(5)(0)

Anonymous

OMG. What else we will see from Westminster. Now I know why are at the bottom of the rankings.

(4)(1)

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