What Are Serious Games?

Serious Game Definition

Serious games are digital video games or simulations who primary purpose is to fulfill a more serious task, rather than just existing for entertainment. They can take the form of either off-the-shelf generic software products, or custom solutions.

Common uses are for educational and business applications (including staff training).

History

Business simulations and educational computer games have existed for just about as long as personal computers have.

When serious games were in their infancy, they were generally fairly basic. What started as mostly statistically based simulations, text based quizzes and tests with crude visuals has developed over time.

The combination of computer hardware advancing and changing perceptions on gaming and how entertainment can be successfully merged with serious tasks have allowed the medium to advance greatly. These days it’s acceptable for serious games to be fun and incorporate some of the same multimedia elements and polish that have been exclusively the domain of just for fun video games.

Production

Serious game development is usually undertaken by specialist companies.

There are a number of suitable development platforms for serious games, from HTML5 for web based games to Unity for more complex 3D games and simulations.

Deployment

A serious game can be deployed on a variety of devices, depending on how and where it’s going to be used. Common targets are desktop PC or Mac hardware and mobile devices.

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