Pamela Kato has a list of ten tips for making a successful serious game, it’s unclear what successful means here but I assume it’s a combination of the game’s reach and the game’s sustainability. Both in terms of market-based success.
Here’s points 6 and 7:
6) Figure out who will buy the game. If an individual (e.g., parent) or organization (e.g., insurance company) will buy it and give it to the target group, listen to them and make sure you cater to them. But remember that ultimately, you have to make the target group happy.
7) If you ever have a conflict between researchers, business people, developers, artists, etc., go with what the target group wants.
Making serious games is a serious issue and I think she missed the most serious part of serious games and that is FUN, seriously. Why so serious?
If the game isn’t fun then nobody will play it no matter how meaningful the play experience may be.
February 29th, 2012 by Adam
The federal government of the USA has given 10.5 million dollars to Raytheon to develop serious games. Raytheon is a defence contractor that is best known for the tomahawk cruise missile and not known for their video games.
Raytheon is to make games that focus on changing (or at least making people better aware of) biases in thinking processes.
I find it curious that Raytheon is getting in on this action and I wonder what this means for the world of serious games if big money is coming from the military industrial complex.
IARPA said that some research has shown that serious games, what it calls videogames developed for educational, therapeutic, or other non-entertainment purposes, can develop positive learning for real- world skills or behavior changes.
“A broad consensus exists that human decision making relies on a repertoire of simple, fast, heuristic decision rules that are used in specific situations. These decision rules can sometimes bias general problem-solving (usually unconsciously) in ways that produce erroneous results. Cognitive bias problems are seen in many professions where analysis is an important component (such as intelligence, law enforcement, medicine, aviation, journalism, and scientific research). When an intelligence problem invokes these cognitive biases, analysts may draw inferences or adopt beliefs that are logically unsound or not supported by evidence. Cognitive biases in analysis tend to increase with the level of uncertainty, lead to systematic errors, filter perceptions, shape assumptions and constrain alternatives. Cognitive biases are unlikely to be eliminated, but research suggests that they may be mitigated by awareness, collaboration, and critical or procedural thinking processes,” IARPA stated.
Read more at Network World.
November 22nd, 2011 by Adam
I’m always looking at the intersection between education and the world of gaming and I just came across what Katrin Becker refers to as the “magic bullet” of evaluating educational games. The argument, as a I can understand from the powerpoint alone, is not too convincing but it does serve as a good introduction of the inherent problems of educational gaming.
My favourite part has to be “MUST avoid repeat of Edutainment Era”.
October 10th, 2011 by Adam