WorkPlay:  Harassment and Discrimination” is a game-based learning environment designed to assist certified communications trainers in presenting and evaluate employees who are undergoing sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace training. This environment is a virtual work place where the trainers and trainees are able to interact and communicate with each other in an online multiplayer videogame.

Statement of the Problem

Any company in California with more than 50 employees is required to provide training in harassment and discrimination every two years (AB1825).  This training must be conducted by certified trainers.  

Any such company must also provide new employees with this training within six months of hiring.

Challenge Statement

The learner engages in a workplace simulation where they develop workplace communications skills and awareness through small group experiential learning scenarios that are supported with in-depth 'post-mortems' (Sense Giving) facilitated by the trainers. The multiplayer game online environment is a 'real-time' virtual work place where the trainers and trainees are able to interact and communicate with each other on the web in synchronous activities.


WorkPlay SessionsWorkPlay Sessions

Watch WorkPlay Overview Webcast Recording  
Watch a webcast recording overview of the WorkPlay Enterprise
[Opens in a new window - 1hr 27:54 minutes]


WorkPlay Summary

The applied pedagogy of digital game-based multiplayer learning:

  • Immersion
  • Authenticity
  • Emergence
  • Safety

WorkPlay Virtual Workplace Communications Training Scenarios

  • Harassment and Discrimination (AB1825)
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Negotiating Poor Management Decisions
  • Lack of Leadership
  • Team Apathy
  • Low Morale
  • Introverted Team Members
  • Incompetence

 In a brief eighteen months, the team from Course Games designed and produced an online multiplayer digital game-based online training ecosystem that fused the Virtools online multiuser technology delivered in the web browser, with customized PHP/SQL consoles, the Moodle Learning Management System, the Acrobat Connect Professional Enterprise system, the Perforce asset management system, the introNetworks community management system, and Linden Lab’s Second Life virtual world technology.  To do so, the team worked virtually, including production professionals located throughout California, in North Carolina, Montreal, Canada and Paris, France.  The project began on July 1, 2007, and by the following February 20, 2008, the team began its initial training events at the Game Developer’s Conference – having produced a first playable online multiplayer training game prototype in 7 months.

WorkPlay Enterprise

Log-In – Create Profile (PHP/SQL)
Pre-Assessment Mapping (PHP/SQL/Virtools)

Game Architecture

Virtools Online Multiplayer (SQL)


In-Game Scoring
In-Game Trainer Feedback
Scenario Builder (PHP/SQL)
Post-Assessment Mapping (PHP/SQL)


introNetwork (Community Profile)
Training Certification
Moodle (Learning Development Community)


Avatar Setup Scene (choosing appearance)
Tutorial Scene
Avatar Imaging Feedback (trainer controlled/scored)
Traits Feedback (trainer controlled/scored)
Cut Scenes (diversify scenarios/assessment tools)
Mission Design – Goals, Objectives, Outcomes
Level Environment Engagements
Assessment Mapping System (outboard)
Scenario Builder – Post Assessment (outboard)
Social Networking/Learning Community System

Game Sequences

The game is a third person adventure-quest experience where the learner (worker) completes challenges that develop skills and awareness related to:

  • Sexual Harassment
  • Retaliation
  • Discrimination
  • AB1825 required training

The player enters a work environment with two trainers in game representing co-workers or managers in various scenarios and combinations of employee types:

Seq 1:  Log-In
Seq 2: Tutorial
Seq 3: Avatar Setup
Seq 4: Launch Game – Intro Cinematic
Seq 5: Spawn in Lobby [reinforce tutorial]
Seq 6: Cut Scene 1 – Ethnicity in Office
Seq 7: Scenario 1 – Ethnicity in Office
Seq 8: Go to Office
Seq 9: Cut Scene 2 – Ageism in Conference Room
Seq 10: Scenario 2 – Ageism in Conference Room
Seq 11: Go to Conference Room
Seq 12: Cut Scene 3 – Sexual Orientation in Cubicles
Seq 13: Scenario 3 – Sexual Orientation in Cubicles
Seq 14: Go to Cubicles
Seq 15: Cut Scene 4 – Sexual Harassment in Break Room
Seq 16: Scenario 4 – Sexual Harassment in Break Room
Seq 15: Go to Break Room
Seq 18: Cut Scene End – Results
Seq 19: Exit Game

Assessment System

Formative Feedback Systems - UI
Summative Assessments
Adaptive Challenge
Scoring – Competition

Feedback System

Tutorial Skill
UI Mechanics – Traits Meter
Avatar Imaging
Mission Design/Waypoints
Assessment Mapping

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