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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Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Can The Sims Make Programming Cool Again?

"Walk into a middle school classroom and ask 'Who wants to be a computer programmer?' and hardly any hands go up," says Caitlin Kelleher, a post-doctoral researcher in Computer Science & Human Computer Interaction at Carnegie Mellon University. Delivered from the stage in a crowded hotel ballroom, her words sound like the beginning of a joke.

But Kelleher's point is anything but funny. While the number of computer-science grads in India and China is on the rise, the U.S. has seen a 50% drop in CS college majors between 2000 and 2005 (according to a May, 2005, UCLA study), casting doubt over whether the U.S. will continue to be an innovation leader in the global economy.

Kelleher's venue was the Serious Games Summit, held Oct. 30-31 in Washington, D.C. It's an annual gathering of game designers and developers who are joined in researching how their "entertainment" medium can be leveraged as a training tool in areas ranging from the military to health care, education, activism, and the corporate world.

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