Serious Game Types & Examples

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Types of Serious Games

Serious games can be classified according to their purpose:

  • Advergames - Refers to the use of games to advertise and promote a product, organization or viewpoint. America's Army is a game to advertise the United States Army to increase recruitment, made specifically for PlayStation 2.
  • Edutainment - Refers to entertainment games that are designed to be educational. One industry that is loaded with edutainment products is kid's software. Games like Oregon Trail and Math Blasters teach kids about history and math while keeping them entertained.
  • Game-based Learning - Deals with applications that have defined learning outcomes. They are designed in order to balance the subject matter with the gameplay and the ability of the player to retain and apply said subject matter to the real world.
  • Newsgames - An application of journalism in video game form that convey some kind of interactive news or editorial content. They are usually created in response to current events. Dafur is Dying and September 12 are examples of a newsgames.
  • Training and Simulation Games - Games used for the acquisition or exercise of different skills, to teach effective behavior in the context of simulated conditions or situations.
  • Persuasive Games - These games influence players to take action through gameplay. They are designed to change attitudes or behaviors of the users through persuasion.
  • Organizational-dynamic - Usually designed for the specific purpose of furthering personal development and character building, particularly in addressing complex organizational situations, such as managing change and innovation diffusion in a company, helping people in the organization to introduce productive collaboration patterns, managing difficult meeting situations, etc. Houthoff Buruma and Novicraft are examples of such games.
  • Games for Health - Includes games for psychological therapy, cognitive training, physical rehabilitation, as well as exergaming - games used as a form of exercise.
The term Edumarket is usually applied to games that combine several aspects or goals. For example, a game can combine advertising, persuasion and educational aspects. The game Food Force combines news, persuasive and edutainment goals.


Serious Game Examples

  • Amnesty the game (Facebook and internet) a game that supports Amnesty International efforts to worldwide abolish the death penalty.
  • Close Combat: Marines is the first version of Close Combat universe made specifically for military training purposes. Forces consist of USMC and OpFor troops.
  • CyberCIEGE (Microsoft Windows): Computer network security sim game developed by the Naval Postgraduate School. Players protect assets while enabling "users" to achieve their goals.
  • Darfur is Dying (Internet) An online game by mtvU that simulates life in a Darfur refugee camp.
  • DARWARS Ambush! Convoy Simulator developed as part of DARPA's DARWARS project, designed to create low-cost experiential training systems
  • EteRNA, a game in which players attempt to design RNA sequences that fold into a given configuration. Designs are evaluated to improve computer models predicting RNA folding, included selected designs actually synthesized to evaluate RNA folding dynamics against computer predictions.
  • FloodSim (Internet) A flood prevention simulation/strategy game designed to inform the people of the United Kingdom about the dangers of flooding as well as to help gather public opinion on the problem that flooding presents to the UK. The player takes control of the UK's flood policies for three years and attempts to protect the people and the economy of the United Kingdom from damage due to floods.
  • Foldit (Windows, Linux, Mac) Protein folding, puzzle game where results can be used in real science.
  • Food Force (Mac/Windows) Humanitarian video game. The UN's World Food Programme designed this virtual world of food airdrops over crisis zones and trucks struggling up difficult roads under rebel threat with emergency food supplies.
  • Genomics Digital Lab (Mac/Windows) A series of interactive science games where users learn about the importance of plants and their contribution to energy and the environment.
  • Global Conflict: Palestine (Mac/Windows): A 3D-adventure/rpg-game. You are given the role of a reporter in Jerusalem, and have to write articles for your paper.
  • Harpoon (Mac/Windows): Entertainment version was "dual use" from 1989 forward. Professional version Harpoon 3 Professional created in 2002 with help from Australian Defense Department, updated in 2006.
  • History of Biology game (Mac/Windows):History of Biology is a browser based scavenger hunt style educational game designed to teach high school students and general interest groups about the history of biology covering topics such as early microscopes, classification, taxonomy, heredity, genetics, and evolution.
  • Houthoff Buruma The Game: serious game for recruitment purposes, developed by Dutch law firm Houthoff Buruma.
  • IBM CityOne (Internet): designed by IBM as part of the IBM Smarter Planet initiative. The game is designed to educate the player of the complex systems and how they connect in a modern city.
  • IntelliGym (Mac/Windows/Linux): A series of computer based cognitive simulators that trains athletes and designed to enhance brain skills associated with sports-related performance.
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator developed as a comprehensive simulation of civil aviation. Notably one of the few flight simulation games that does not concentrate on simulation of aerial warfare.
  • NanoMission (Microsoft Windows): A series created for the non-profit group Cientifica in order to teach about nanomedicine, nanotechnology and associated concepts through a series of action games.
  • Novicraft HRD game (Microsoft Windows): NoviCraft is a serious game for supporting business customers in social excellence, in learning to construct shared understanding together with different people in changing contexts.
  • Peacemaker (Mac/PC) A commercial game simulation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict designed to promote "dialog and understanding among Israelis, Palestinians and interested people around the world".
  • People Power (Windows) The video game is designed to teach the waging of conflict using nonviolent methods. Intended for use by activists and leaders of nonviolent resistance and opposition movements.
  • Phylo video game (Internet): A game that invites players to give in to their addictive gaming impulses while contributing to the greater good by trying to decode the code for genetic diseases.[14]
  • Re-Mission (Microsoft Windows): 3-D Shooter to help improve the lives of young persons living with cancer.
  • Ship Simulator (Microsoft Windows): a simulator which simulates maneuvering various ships in different environments, although without the effects of wind and current.
  • Simport (Mac/Windows): A simulation game in which players learn about the intricacies involved in construction large infrastructural projects, like a major sea port.
  • Steel Beasts Professional (Microsoft Windows): Tank simulator, developed by eSim Games, and used by several armies around the world.
  • The 3D Model of The West Virginia Penitentiary (Microsoft Windows): Players interact with a digital version of the facility to prepare for real world skills testing and riot simulation.[15] Developed for the West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation to provide situational awareness for attendees of the Mock Prison Riot held annually at the West Virginia State Penitentiary.
  • VBS2 Training tool for the British Military and the USMC and other military forces around the world. Developed by BIA, and based on the game engine used in Operation Flashpoint and Armed Assault.
  • X-Plane (Linux/Mac/Windows): a comprehensive civil aviation simulator. An FAA approved version exists which enables low cost flight training.
  • Funphysio (Microsoft Windows): This game helps patients in physical therapy treatments.
  • Time out (Mac/ Windows): it is a point and click game dealing with diabetes, created and produced by Demi-brume for Les Diablotines.



References and Further Reading:

  1. Wikipedia:
  2. Seriosity Blog:
  3. Adobe:
  4. Serious Games by Isabelle Arvers:

Last Updated on Monday, 28 November 2011 13:56

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