Schell Games Launches Virtual Reality Chemistry Lab Game 'HoloLAB Champions' on Steam

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STEM VR Game Available Today, Free for Schools and Educators

PITTSBURGH, Penn­syl­va­nia (July 10, 2018) — Schell Games, the developer behind the popular and highly-acclaimed virtual reality game I Expect You To Die, today launched a VR chemistry lab practice game HoloLAB Champions on Steam. HoloLAB Champions trans­ports players into a virtual game show where they learn real lab practice skills to complete exper­i­ments within a virtual lab. Using chemistry and edu­ca­tional experts for content devel­op­ment and funded in part by a SBIR grant from the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Depart­ment of Education, HoloLAB Champions was iter­a­tively developed in part­ner­ship with students, educators, and RAND Corporation.

In a game show-style setting, HoloLAB Champions guides players through a series of mini-labs that lead up to a final lab challenge. Earl, the holo­graphic host, is a friendly com­men­ta­tor, armed with a fun sense of humor and a few eye-rolling science jokes. The camera-bot, Meyer, is his irrev­er­ent sidekick. Players score achieve­ments based on their ability to perform tasks safely and accu­rately. Those who complete an event are awarded an elemental trophy and can take their place among the famed Hall of Brains. There is also a Practice Mode available, where players can hone their skills to prepare for the main event challenges.

HoloLAB Champions is important because it teaches students about science and lab safety in an envi­ron­ment that is both edu­ca­tional and engaging,” said Jesse Schell, CEO of Schell Games. Virtual reality is still a new and rel­a­tively untapped space so we are excited to see it being used in classroom settings. We look forward to gauging its effects on learning outcomes and student engage­ment in the future.”

As a companion tool to an in-person high school chemistry lab expe­ri­ence, HoloLAB Champions has two, 30 — 40 minute episodes to teach players basic lab skills, pro­ce­dures, and protocols. The first episode is Chemi­lu­mi­nes­cence, where students need to mix correct amounts of liquid and solid ingre­di­ents to create a glowing chemical solution. The second episode, Identify Unknowns, presents students with a set of sub­stances and, with limited reference infor­ma­tion, players must correctly identify each substance.

Teachers and students expressed a lot of enthu­si­asm when they tried early pro­to­types and offered their feedback,” reported John Pane, education tech­nol­ogy researcher at the RAND Cor­po­ra­tion, whose team served as eval­u­a­tion partner during the game’s devel­op­ment. They see HoloLAB Champions as an engaging and inventive way for students to learn the basics of lab practice.”

With a few excep­tions,​typical​class­rooms haven’t changed much since our parents were in school,” said Dr. Brooke Morrill, Director of Education at Schell Games.​“As tech­nol­ogy​becomes​more powerful and​a larger part of our everyday lives,​sup­port­ing class­rooms​in​har­ness­ing unique, effective tools to meet the needs of today’s students​is essential​. With HoloLAB Champions, we are offering an inno­v­a­tive way for students to learn the basics of lab practice while also providing educators with​resource​s for incor­po­rat­ing this game into their classrooms.”

While HoloLAB Champions is a single player game aimed at students aged 14 to 18, it is designed to be used in a group setting in the classroom, with one student playing the game, while observing students are providing assis­tance and taking notes and a teacher is giving guidance and feedback. Sup­port­ing documents such a Classroom Guide will help educators integrate the game into their classroom and guide students through the labs. Teachers who implement HoloLAB Champions will have the added benefit of safety, since they won’t need to worry about spills, breakages, or potential injuries that sometimes occur in real lab settings.

HoloLAB Champions is free for edu­ca­tional instruc­tors, students, and facil­i­ties. For edu­ca­tional copies, please visit the For Educators page at HoloLABChampions.com and submit the requested information.

While HoloLAB Champions has a practical edu­ca­tional purpose, the game can also be enjoyed by VR enthu­si­asts and people inter­ested in science and chemistry. It is available for $9.99 on Steam with a 20 percent discount during launch week. The game was designed for use with the HTC Vive.

More infor­ma­tion is available at HoloLABChampions.com. Assets are available here.

HoloLAB Champions Steam TrailerHoloLAB Champions Educators Edition TrailerSteam PageMedia KitAbout Schell GamesSchell Games is the largest full-service edu­ca­tional and enter­tain­ment game devel­op­ment company in the United States. Founded in 2002 by game designer and award-winning author Jesse Schell, the studio heralds a highly talented array of artists, pro­gram­mers, producers, and game designers. Schell Games spe­cial­izes in creating memorable expe­ri­ences through mobile, VR/​AR, PC, console, handheld, online and social games; inter­ac­tive expe­ri­ences and theme park attrac­tions; connected toys and virtual worlds. The company counts some of the world’s most respected brands as clients, such as The Walt Disney Company, Google, Facebook, Yale Uni­ver­sity, SeaWorld Parks and Enter­tain­ment, and The Fred Rogers Company. For more infor­ma­tion on Schell Games, visit http://www.schellgames.com or contact us at info@schellgames.com. Press ContactB/​HI for Schell GamesSchellgames@bhimpact.com