Virtual Reality challenges moral confusion: #MoralJourney wins international EYA Hackathon

What good are digital technologies and Virtual Reality? More than 100 young people from 10 nations developed digital solutions with social benefit in 48 hours at the Social VR Hackathon in Salzburg. The top class jury chose the VR-Game prototype MoralJourney as the winner, underscoring the project‘s uniqueness.

What is so special about this game? Players‘ moral code of conduct is tested and bolstered as they take decisions in daily routine situations, such as coming across a person in need as they run to catch the morning train.

Specific situations challenge ethical decisions. Based on Lawrence Kohlberg‘s scientific phased-model for moral development, the game enhances the personal competence of the players.

A total of eleven teams of students studying Social Innovation, Design and Product management and Multimedia Technology at the University of Applied Sciences Salzburg created an astounding range of digital solutions from mobile Apps to foster healthcare, to a communications platform for volunteer workers.

Skilled developers from Spain, Mexico, Russia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ungarn, and Syria showed they could work together with social workers from Germany, the Netherlands, and Austria, thereby fostering the international network, characteristic of the ICNM-run European Youth Award (EYA). For the second time, EYA partnered with the University of Applied Sciences Salzburg to organize a Social Hackathon.

The silver medal was awarded to a project named „helpUhelp“ – a communication interface for volunteer work. The healthcare solution „LAMA,“ combining an app, blog and chat service to raise awareness for preventive health services, took third place.

The eleven participating teams were supported by 25 coaches from all over Europe, Asia, and Africa – onsite, as well as online. The coaching sessions covered a wide arrange of topics from coding to social innovation and pitch presentation. Onsite coaching was provided by trainers from the Startup Center of the University of Applied Sciences Salzburg.

The Hackathons winners are nominated to the VRCORE Awards in China in Oktober 2018. The second placed team has the chance to take part in the „Continental App Camp Europe“ in July, organized by the global mYouth 2.0 project.