MINING-VIRTUAL: A comprehensive virtual reality-based serious game for occupational health and safety training in underground mines

Gürer S., Sürer E., Erkayaoğlu M.

Safety Science, vol.166, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 166
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.ssci.2023.106226
  • Journal Name: Safety Science
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, CAB Abstracts, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, Environment Index, INSPEC, Metadex, Psycinfo, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Safety training, Serious gaming, Underground mining, Virtual reality
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Mining is a multi-disciplinary engineering activity considered as having risks that are related to workers and equipment. The mitigation of these risks and preparedness for the possible risk factors are commonly based on traditional training that is nowadays enriched with new training materials, simulations and serious games. In this study, a detailed and realistic serious game —MINING-VIRTUAL— developed in Unity3D for computer and virtual reality environments is introduced. The game enables users to experience an underground coal mine in a virtual environment for training purposes. Hazard detection and knowledge about critical information about occupational health and safety are evaluated by interactions and questions within the game. Target groups of 30 participants from mining engineers and game developers were invited to test MINING-VIRTUAL, and the technology acceptance and usability aspects were evaluated by questionnaires. As a result, both mining engineers and game developers assessed the game as excellent based on system usability scores and agreed on the fact that the game has a considerably high technology acceptance level. Paired t-tests were performed to evaluate the effects of experience in using gaming technology and the frequency of gaming on technology acceptance. The evaluation revealed that the developed game could serve as an efficient tool in occupational health and safety training for the mining industry.