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The Booze Cruise: Impaired Driving in Virtual Spaces

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In January 2007, the University of Calgary offered the first Canadian course in Serious Game Development.1,2 Computer Science 701.03 was officially a high-level graduate course, but it included participants from the arts and interdisciplinary studies at senior undergraduate levels. The course evaluation was based on a game project. The class selected a simulation of impaired driving, and called it the Booze Cruise. Before embarking on the simulation, we consulted with the Calgary Police Service. Its alcohol unit was keen to help and gave a summary of the what and why of accident types related to alcohol consumption. Impaired driving is a serious problem and a preventable cause of death and injury. Private and public health organizations are always seeking better ways to reach the public with the message that drinking and driving is dangerous and socially irresponsible. When we announced the game in October 2007, the media response was huge (see Figure 1). The game also won the best student game and people's choice categories in the FuturePlay 2007 Conference's games competition that year (www. futureplay.org). In this article, we summarize the game's design process and development stages. We also look at media responses, which are still active.

Published in:

Computer Graphics and Applications, IEEE  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

March-April 2009

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