[Press Release] PreviewLabs, Inc. to Prototype Oculus-Funded Virtual Reality Vaping Intervention Game for Yale play4REAL

New Haven, Connecticut: PreviewLabs, Inc., a rapid game prototyping studio, has been chosen by Yale’s Center for Health & Learning Games new play4REAL lab to prototype “smokeSCREEN VR”, a virtual reality videogame funded by Facebook-owned Oculus. The game will rely on behavior change theory and virtual reality to immerse and educate teens in simulated decision-making scenarios specifically focused on e-cigarettes.

“With VR, as a player, you get much more of a point-of-view experience. You actually feel like you’re in the environment,” said the new lab’s director, research scientist Kimberly Hieftje, in a press release. “We are asking ourselves what we can do to use VR to enhance the feeling of social pressure in a scenario involving vaping, or e-cigarette use. Could we change the volume of the background noise? Could we simulate your heart pounding?”

“We are excited to partner with PreviewLabs. Their experience working with research teams to develop innovative prototypes using VR technology will be key to the success of this project,” said Hieftje.

“Bringing difficult social situations to life in a playable virtual reality game, and making them feel natural, will be a unique challenge,” said Bernard Francois, founder of PreviewLabs. “We’re excited to work with Yale’s researchers on this Oculus project.”

The prototype for smokeSCREEN VR will incorporate physiological and audio effects defined by the research team, as well as true-to-life storytelling that places the player into decision-making scenarios regarding e-cigarettes—as experienced by teens. Learn more about the process for this project here on the PreviewLabs company blog.

Some pictures of the PreviewLabs team that can be used are available for download here.

About PreviewLabs, Inc.: PreviewLabs is a rapid prototyping studio specializing in game development technology with offices in the U.S. and Belgium. We work with clients all over the world, including game developers, start-ups, and medical and education research institutions. Our prototypes are used to evaluate, improve and pitch virtual reality, augmented reality, console, computer, and mobile game concepts. Learn more at

One thought on “[Press Release] PreviewLabs, Inc. to Prototype Oculus-Funded Virtual Reality Vaping Intervention Game for Yale play4REAL”

  1. Bernard says:

    Press coverage in English:

    Oculus Fund Researching On VR For Social Pressure, VR focus, Thursday November 16, 2017

    play4REAL Lab Embraces VR for Educating Youth and Young Adults on Important Life Decisions, The VR Base, Thursday November 16, 2017

    Facebook’s Oculus backs VR game to help teens kick e-cigarette habit, CNBC, Thursday May 3, 2018

    An overview of press coverage in Dutch can be found in the comments on the Dutch version of the press release.

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