Researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) are to measure the effectiveness of a video game they created to educate the construction industry on new weather-based insurance policies.

Construction projects can be halted by heavy rain or high winds, which can lead to costly delays. There are new ‘smart policies’ on the insurance market that factor in such risks. However, believing that there are very limited ways to help potential customers understand the benefits of these policies, two organisations last year asked GCU to come up with a solution.

A team from the University’s School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment, led by Dr Soheeb Khan, set about developing a game that shows how such policies can help stakeholders better manage risks related to weather, settle claims faster and overcome some of the limitations associated with more traditional insurance policies.

The organisations that engaged GCU were EHAB and DEAS Network Plus. EHAB is a platform that uses a wide variety of cutting-edge technology to manage weather risk in construction. DEAS Network Plus focuses on businesses which are adopting innovative technologies to offer advance services rather than just selling products.

The game, which was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), shows risk in different scenarios related to the construction industry for the stakeholders involved. It creates an “engaging experience” that helps the player make a more informed decision when taking out an insurance policy.

The game exists as a web version for PCs and laptops or it can be accessed from the Apple and Play store for mobile and tablet devices.

Dr Khan said: “The majority of video games produced are for entertainment. However, their application can be beneficial for various sectors and disciplines in conveying information, simulation and education.”

And now Dr Khan would like as many people as possible to play these games, to provide feedback, and also to complete a short survey afterwards to capture their thoughts and impressions.

He said: “This study will enable investigators to see the impact of the game and help others see the potential use of innovative technologies to communicate complex servitisation offers.”