Serious Gaming

Serious Games (SG) are evolving into the cutting edge of nowadays professional development due to the worldwide digital turn. They are digital simulations of processes and real-world situations where realistic problems have to be solved, all the while having an entertaining nature. Although rooted in the gaming branch, they serve the primary interest of educating and training its users by confronting them with decision making, using strategic skills and digital competence fostering awareness creation and behavioral change.

In the past, SG users reported a major enhancement of synergies with existing text-based learning materials and were having increasingly more fun and ease while learning the contents. Several studies constrain these observations by showing individuals learn best when wiring their nervous systems to interact and communicate through playful engagement. This leads to an effective transition of ideas and solutions: “Students remember only 10 percent of what they read; 20 percent of what they hear; 30 percent if they see visuals related to what they hear; 50 percent if they watch someone do something while explaining it; but almost 90 percent if they do the job themselves, even if only as simulation.” (“Harnessing the Power of Videogames for Learning”, Summit 2006)

Through a clever diffusion in corporations SG have shown to take up rapidly and boost mass participation which in the long turn achieves low costs per user. However, for SG as superior learning measures, challenges lie in aligning personal learning by requiring customization to individual needs, contexts and preferences. For the user to empathize and identify as good as possible, evolving photorealistic technologies are needed representing realistic and authentic experiences at a reasonable cost. The good news is that as witnessed in the last decade, technologies become a commodity at a fast rate, which can be integrated continuously into already existing SG. This also applies to devices which can be adapted from computers, to tablets and mobile SG learning, facilitating individualized learning spaces.  

If corporations want to be part of this fascinating development, there is no way around acknowledging the importance of pedagogical change which integrates newest technology and devices with a playful learning experience, boosting results and optimizing learning time. Looks like a bright future for Serious Games as an appealing learning technique!

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