News Release

Britney Gulledge,
Public Relations Associate
320 DuPont Highway
New Castle, DE 19720

Game Design Students at Wilmington University Develop Virtual Teaching Instrument

Students studying game design at Wilmington University have developed a complex virtual simulation for a Child Advocacy Studies Certificate that adds value to educational function.

Under the direction of Assistant Professor Scott Shaw, the students of GMD 300 (Advanced Game Engines: Using Unity 3D) and work-study students Jason Moranno and Christopher Wright created a simulation of a “trash house”, which is the key component to SOC 426: Responding and Investigation: Child Maltreatment.

The simulation depicts a typical home scenario to which child welfare or law enforcement personnel would be called to investigate an allegation of child abuse or neglect. Currently, students experience a physical “trash house” scene staged by professors including environmental risk factors and simulated “evidence” of child maltreatment that students assess as part of a case study assignment. This new simulation allows distance learning students to participate in a virtual “trash house” and provides changeable new levels for the observation experience. The virtual program includes camera capabilities, note taking capabilities and programmable changes to the environment under observation.

“This partnership is beneficial to each class because it creates opportunity to meet core competencies for gaming students and build soft skills like team building and project management," said Scott Shaw, chair of Game Design and development at the university. "This virtual environment will help to prepare our Social and Behavioral Sciences students for cases they may encounter in their career field.” 

Lori Sitler, coordinator of the Child Advocacy Studies certificate in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, initiated the interdepartmental partnership to create a viable way for on-line students to have a hands-on, interactive learning tool for the class’s “trash house” component.

While the "trash house" prototype is complete, Wilmington University's Game Design students are continuing to fine-tune the simulation program for full implementation this summer. Further development and additional versions of the original virtual environment simulation could extend its possible use in crime scene investigation (CSI) training and other real world applications. 

About Wilmington University

Wilmington University is a private, nonprofit university committed to offering flexible and career-oriented undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree programs while maintaining small class sizes, individualized attention and affordable tuition. For more information, contact Wilmington University at 302-356-INFO (4636) or toll free 877-967-5464, via email at or visit our website at

Published: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - New Castle, DE