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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Monday, 16 July 2007

Games, Learning & Society 3.0

In his opening keynote at the Game, Learning & Society 3.0 conference in Madison, WI last week, Professor James Gee set the stage for the year’s most substantive conference on learning games and simulations. Among other points made in his opening remarks, Gee reminded us that:

> Pop culture — the game business in particular — has learned to profit from stuff we can’t get kids to do in school.

> When it comes to reading highly technical game documentation there are no differences in achievement between advantaged and disadvantaged kids. The motivation of _fun_ is so powerful.

> In MMORPGs and similar online games, success demands leading or participating in cross-functional teams and gamers willingly join them, yet in business settings the thought of participating in a cross-functional team is often a major cause of stress.

> Playing (video) games situates meaning to words and symbols in game texts, encouraging performance before competency — just the opposite of the dominant pedagogy in today’s schools that typically stresses being able to recite facts (i.e. pass the test) before demonstrating competence in a particular domain.

> The gamers attitude to failure is “fail early, fail often” if it is in the service of learning something critical to success.

> Games are problem-solving spaces that cultivate a culture of learning and learning complexity is a drug that humans can’t get enough of.

> Games are also “rule systems” and gamers seek ways to game the system, to leverage the rules of the game to their advantage, and game developers can design for this.

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