Recently, the potential of using commercially available computer game engines to implement virtual engineering experiments (which represent pure computer simulations) has been explored by various educational institutions. Using a game engine in conjunction with a corresponding software development kit, it is possible for educators to replace the content of an existing computer game with educational content, thus creating virtual laboratory environments. The utilization of game engines for educational purposes is expected to increase the degree of immersive presence of the students engaging in such game-based laboratory exercises as well as the level of interactivity between the students. This paper will discuss the integration of a game-based virtual laboratory environment with remote experiments conducted using actual physical devices. In particular, the paper will focus on possible ways in which the data transfer between a computer game engine and an existing remote laboratory experiment can be accomplished. Strategies for the extraction of laboratory experiment data and for the conversion of data formats are discussed. Possible methods by which the laboratory experiment output data is accessed and displayed are also addressed. Some of the key questions affecting the possible process flows are if and at what point the laboratory experiment mode of interaction should switch from the game engine to the remote laboratory experiment and then switch back to the game engine, and whether or not the user should know that and when it occurred. Finally, the paper will present a sample implementation of a virtual laboratory, into which a specific remote experiment was integrated.

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