Designing a Virtual World to Mirror the Real Challenges of Life as an Amputee


  • Sandra Winkler James A Haley VA Hospital
  • John Kairalla University of Florida, College of Public Health and Health Related Professions and College of Medicine. Department of Biostatics
  • Ann Ludwig Virtual Ability, Inc.
  • Chris Fowler James A Haley VA Hospital



Amputee, Amputation, self-management, virtual, virtual world, simulation


The purpose of this research was to further understand the experience of using a customized avatar in a virtual world to practice desired health behaviors. By triangulating the quantitative and qualitative data of 12 amputee participants, we discovered that salient factors of having an amputation had a profound impact on the measure of health outcomes. This in turn masked the measured effect of the virtual self-management intervention on health outcomes. We also learned that our training was not closely enough aligned with the constructs that we measured. We discuss how to address these gaps in future studies including adding serious games to a virtual world environment to facilitate disclosure of and adjustment to the salient factors and to better align the simulations with desired outcomes.




How to Cite

Winkler, S., Kairalla, J., Ludwig, A., & Fowler, C. (2020). Designing a Virtual World to Mirror the Real Challenges of Life as an Amputee. International Journal of Serious Games, 7(4), 105–110.