September 25, 2017, by Stuart Moran
The Corrupt Kitchen VR
The Digital Research Team are facilitating a unique digital collaboration between Computer Science, Law and Politics.
Dr Paul Tennent outlines the project below:
“In an effort to explore attitudes to workplace corruption in a playful manner, researchers at Nottingham University are creating a new virtual reality (VR) experience where players will run a commercial kitchen. Flipping burgers to make money is easy, but there are other jobs which take your time – and time is money! How much would you be willing to let slide just to make a quick buck?
Built to run on an HTC Vive VR headset, The Corrupt Kitchen VR is a game where players must balance the task of cooking meals as requests come in with adhering to health and safety rules: keeping themselves and the kitchen clean and free of infestation; ensuring the quality of their ingredients; and ensuring that their employees have all the correct paperwork. The more meals they produce, the more money the restaurant makes and the higher their score. Neglecting the other tasks will certainly make them more money, but there’s an associated risk. A second player; acting as a health inspector will assess their work. If it’s found lacking, there may be fines to pay. But inspectors are people too – they’ve got families at home and bills to pay – maybe a healthy bribe will make them forget seeing that rat in the meat grinder?
To make the game work, researchers have built a kitchen environment in Unity 3D. Using room scale virtual reality delivered on the HTC Vive headset, players will move around the space performing a range of interactive tasks with their vive controllers: if you need to flip a burger – reach out your hand, grab the fish-slice and flip that burger; if you need to wash the floor – grab a mop and get to it! You’ll need an employee to help with the dishes, so you’ll have to choose between the legal workers, who have paperwork that needs checking and taxes that need paying, and the others who might work just as well but for less money.
The inspector will watch your every move though a CCTV system. It’s going to be up to them to write the report. They might choose not to write you up for an infraction (for the right price), but there’s risk there too – what if they get caught? What are the consequences of leaving you breaking the rules? It might even be life or death in The Corrupt Kitchen VR!”
If you are interested in the use of Virtual Reality in your research please get in touch with the Digital Research Team.
Next blog in series: Developing the corrupt kitchen VR
Previous blog: The role of paper prototyping in digital engagement
Stuart Moran, Digital Research Specialist for Social Sciences