About Serious Games

Serious games (SGs) or persuasive games are computer and video games used as persuasion technology or educational technology. They can be similar to educational games, but are often intended for an audience outside of primary or secondary education. Serious games can be of any genre and many of them can be considered a kind of edutainment.

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Saturday, 23 June 2007

Playing Well With Others

Cambridge, Mass. -- Martin T. Koszewski, 44, one of International Business Machines Corp.'s top salesmen, is wearing a navy-blue suit, burgundy tie and white shirt for his daily meetings with top computer buyers at mutual-fund giant Fidelity Investments.

But on his computer he is a master of the social-networking tools that are increasingly popular with a less staid set. When he flips open his laptop, he instant-messages with the fervor of a teenage girl. He has an avatar in the virtual community Second Life, which he has used to help with a sales pitch. He has a personal page in IBM's BluePages -- a kind of corporate equivalent of MySpace.com.

To its supporters, social software is a simple-to-use solution to many of the troubles plaguing office workers in an information-saturated age. Time Inc.'s Ann Moore on People.com: "I know the smaller gossip sites think they're big and powerful, but get out of the way.

Big Blue is big on social networking. Some 26,000 IBM workers have registered blogs on the company's internal computer network where they opine on technology and their work. Employees starting a new project routinely create information-storing Web sites called wikis for sharing memos as they build their teams. Thousands of IBM workers swap lists of useful Web sites and corporate resources, using an IBM-developed program for "social bookmarking" called DogEar. Similarly, when an employee calls an IBM expert for assistance with something, he or she may be invited to rate the value of the help. Bosses see those ratings at review time.

While all modern businesses communicate electronically, few have adopted the Web's leading-edge techniques for socializing. Some are skeptical that such tools are useful; others fear they will be abused. IBM has jumped in with both feet. It says the tools foster teamwork among employees who work in IBM offices from Boston to Bangalore. Social networking is especially important for the 42% of IBM employees who regularly work from their homes or client locations rather than IBM facilities.

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