We’re seeing a revolution in the use of games for purposes beyond mere entertainment. ‘Serious games‘, as they are known, are on the rise. The idea is simple: the best way to get people to do something is to make it fun.
‘Edutainment’, a 70s buzzword for educational entertainment, is nothing new, but games offer something no (paper) book or television can (yet): interactivity. Books can give you information, but games can give you information, test your recall, help you practice a skill, give you feedback on how well you’re progressing and more.
But the new ‘serious gaming’ is about more than just educational interactivity – the purpose of a game can be to help the player’s health, give them a perspective to empathise with, or even let them participate in solving a major scientific problem.
What’s more, we’re seeing the intersection of serious gaming with two other important trends. One, is the rise of mobile gaming. The other, is self-monitoring and self improvement, which is often referred to as ‘quantified self’.
Sometimes known as brain training games, cognitive games are one of the most popular examples of serious gaming. They are based on the idea of brain fitness, which claims that, just as physical exercise can improve the body, mental exercise can improve the mind.
We’re seeing a growing trend – the new serious games, with their background in multiple areas and growing accessibility to users, are poised to have wide-reaching implications in education, in health and in the corporate world.
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