Serious games

Ive been looking at organisations which support or promote serious games. Heres a list, in no particular order.

The Serious Games Initiative was founded at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, D.C. Has a blog, but seems to have only one entry since 2006. Held conference in 2006, but not since then. Offer a 38 mb taxonomy of erious games, but lifes too short.

The UK has the Serious Games Institute, which seems to be more alive – it held a Serious Virtual Worlds confernece this year. It makes public a strategy document, dated from May 2008, a Powerpoint full of phrases like Role of the SGI: Bridge building / Catalysing / Networking / Facilitating / Coaching…. Culture of enterprise and innovation… championing… clear and shared vision… Strong brand identity… Multi-disciplinary…Entrepreneurship but admits its problems so far have included Revenue streams / Technology infrastructure / Human resources. (Why oh why do academics try to sound like big business when they must surely know that serious big business doesnt sound like that these days, except perhaps in their advertising?)

The SGIs Research Strategy, pulished at the same time, is more compelling, and concludes:
Serious games and virtual worlds opening up new scope for:
– collaboration (interdisciplinarity, cross-sectoral)
– new modes of learning and training
– blending virtual and real experiences (e.g. mixed reality)
– social drivers for uses
– user generated / sharable content

Anglia Ruskin University held a Serious Games on the Move International Conference this year, which seems to be master-minded by a Dr Tony Brand, about whom I can find little of interest on Google. He appears to be part of Inspire, which is “a service team responsible for supporting a wide range of initiatives, activities and projects associated with the development of the curriculum and enhancing our students’ experiences of higher education. INSPIRE additionally engages in pedagogic research and leads on establishing innovative approaches to learning, teaching and assessment.” Whatever.

This conference was partly sponsored by Project mg-bl, in which “eleven partner organisations from Austria, Croatia, Great Britain, Italy, and Slovenia have joined forces to work on the development of a platform for the presentation of educational content in a playful and emotional way on mobile devices.”

Theres ANGILS, which describes itself as “the only European-based non-profit networking members association for the business- related activities of the 3D Web, Serious Games and related emerging technologies and techniques across digital entertainment, media and the knowledge industries.” It orgnaises conferences and produces market research.

ANGILS supports the Serious Games Forum, which “welcomes the serious games community, builds on the growth of the sector and supports its aims”.

Serious Games Europe seems to be an attempt at a portal, edited by someone called Dick Davies, but does not appear to have been updated for a year or so. Its one of those annoying websites that doesnt tell you who is behind it or even nfrom which country it is run – just one of those annoying email contact forms. (Mr Davies appears to be from Ambient Performance, see biog.

LinkedIn has ten serious games groups:
– Serious Games Group: 266 members (run by Kam Memarzia of PlayGen
– Serious Games People: 260 members (run by Kevin Corti of Pixelearning
– Serious Games Research Group: 68 members (run by Menno Dean of Ranj Serious Games
– Serious Games: 34 people (run by Martine Parry of Apply Group and ANGILS (see below).
plus 6 other groups with less than 10 members each.

Then theres SAGSET (Society for the Advancement of Games and Simulation in Education and Training), of which I have just become a committee member.

Good Wikipedia piece on serious games too, including links to an article on Persuasion Technology, which leads to the website of B J Fogg and the Stanford University Persuasive Technology Lab. (Despite his claim that “that persuasive technology can bring about world peace in 30 years”, I suspect that B J Fogg ought to go on my watch list along with Jon Gratch.)

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