Exploring the trends of educational virtual reality games: a systematic review of empirical studies

Solomon Sunday Oyelere*, Nacir Bouali, Rogers Kaliisa, George Obaido, Abdullahi Abubakar Yunusa, Ebunayo R. Jimoh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)


Virtual Reality (VR) and educational games are emerging technologies mediating a rapid transformation in the educational world. However, few studies have systematically analyzed Educational Virtual Reality Games (EVRGs) and how they have been applied in educational settings. This study reviewed 31 articles published in high impact journals and educational conference proceedings to unravel the technological, pedagogical, and gaming characteristics of contemporary EVRGs. The results show the predominance of Oculus Rift headsets and HTC Vive as the main technology used in EVRGs. Moreover, the analysis revealed that the pedagogical application of the majority of EVRGs was developed for all levels of education (e.g. tertiary, K-12, lifelong learning), with the specific target audience of each game based on the desired learning outcome. Furthermore, the application of EVRGs has primarily focused on out of class use, with healthcare education topics dominating the topics taught using EVRGs. Based on our findings, we highlight some key implications and suggestions to advance the field of EVRGs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number31
JournalSmart learning environments
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • Educational games
  • Educational virtual reality games
  • Systematic review
  • Virtual reality


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