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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Thursday, 26 July 2007

How Madison Avenue Is Wasting Millions on a Deserted Second Life

For months, Michael Donnelly had been hearing all about the fantastic opportunities in Second Life.

As worldwide head of interactive marketing at Coca-Cola, Donnelly was fascinated by its commercial potential, the way its users could wander through a computer-generated 3-D environment that mimics the mundane world of the flesh. So one day last fall, he downloaded the Second Life software, created an avatar, and set off in search of other brands like his own. American Apparel, Reebok, Scion — the big ones were easy to find, yet something felt wrong: "There was nobody else around." He teleported over to the Aloft Hotel, a virtual prototype for a real-world chain being developed by the owners of the W. It was deserted, almost creepy. "I felt like I was in The Shining."

Yet Donnelly decided to put money into Second Life anyway. He's no digital naïf: When he joined Coke last summer, the company was being ridiculed for its huffy response to a spate of Web videos showing the soda geysers that erupt when you drop Mentos into Diet Coke. Within weeks, Donnelly had Coke and Mentos sponsoring a contest on Google Video that's gotten more than 5.6 million views. But Second Life was different. "Many places you go, there's still nobody there," he concedes. That's certainly the case with Coke's Virtual Thirst pavilion, where you can long linger without encountering another avatar. "But my job is to invest in things that have never been done before. So Second Life was an obvious decision."


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Karl Kapp said...

In the begining of the e-learning craze with unreliable technology, shaky design methods and poor interfaces, someone told me that the reason to get in early is to learn what can and can't be done and when the technology finally catches up, then you'll be far up the learning curve because of those early efforts. They were right.

The same is true of companies and educators looking to get into Second Life or other metaverses early. I know that I have learned plenty about what works educationally and what doesn't from my time in SL and think that I can transfer that knowledge to other 3D synchronous environments and successfully leverage the ideas and learning when the 3D web is common place.

To get out of a 3D world just because "no one else" is in there would be a mistake. It is like deciding not to explore new land because no one else has explored it.

The future might not be SL but 3D environments will be the interface of the future...why not cut your teeth now instead of waiting until everyone else is doing the same thing...no advantage that way.

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