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Serious games today
November 15, 2005 11:04 PM   Subscribe

While groups like the Serious Games Initiative are working on making games effective teaching tools, and Social Impact Games are categorizing hundreds of socially useful games, there are some simulations and "serious games" available now which can also be a lot of fun (at least for a little while). Online, you can try your hand at the basics of sailing, setting wildfires, learning photography, or experience a heavy-handed simulation of the war on terror. Less seriously, there is the stapler simulator and the zombie attack simulator. For a bit more involved experience, download a college administration simulator, the UN's Food Force, and, soon, a simulation on the Rwandan genocide. Is learning this way actually useful, or do we have further to go, first? [Flash, Shockwave, and Java used in some links. Some prev. here and here]
posted by blahblahblah (11 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Serious Games? It is a nice idea though, seems inspired by some of the more recent installments in ludological theories. Like, did you know you could make a game in 30 days without any previous experience?! WOWS!
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:24 AM on November 16, 2005


Ah, edutainment will never die!

Do people remember Broderbund? They merged or were taken over by The Learning Company and were then taken over by Mattel for 3.6B . And then given away.

Virtual reality training companies have also spent and wasted huge amounts of money. The story of Prosolvia relates to all this. They were a Swedish company that pulled an Enron before Enron. VR, training etc.

Academics love games but unfortunately there is very little research money in games. It's a bit like film studies. But, there are many ways to persuade the military and others to fund games and 'Serious Games' is the latest way to do it.

But hey, why not? If you can get the Army to pay for what is arguably art surely there is some good.
posted by sien at 12:39 AM on November 16, 2005


Um...That "basic sailing" link refers to "top-speed sailing", and invites you to "put your tactics to the test". This doesn't sound 'basic' to me. disappointing, really. Did the poster read the link?
posted by Goofyy at 2:37 AM on November 16, 2005


The sailing toy is very much about the basics. Did Goofyy bother to try it out or did he just read the first line he saw on the page?
posted by lazy-ville at 4:07 AM on November 16, 2005


Goofyy just read what the site said. Goofy me to assume the site creator knew what they were talking about.
posted by Goofyy at 6:19 AM on November 16, 2005


I must be cursed when it comes to office equipment. Rare is the day when I can get a real stapler to work properly the first time. And the virtual stapler link above wouldn't work in Firefox. Sigh.
posted by Zinger at 6:38 AM on November 16, 2005


Zinger, I didn't have any trouble with any of the links in Firefox. Perhaps your computer cannot handle the power of the Virtual Stapler.
posted by blahblahblah at 6:41 AM on November 16, 2005






Why is everyone so damn critical in this thread? This looks like great stuff.

disclaimer: I am an academic, and I love games. I've been looking at ways to integrate games with my research areas, and this is inspiring.
posted by craniac at 8:41 AM on November 16, 2005


Thanks craniac, and I have some experience with the academia/games connection, if you ever want help.

...and between the phrases zombie attack simulator and heavy-handed simulation of the war on terror, I would have expected more comments from either of MeFis two major audiences. Ah, well.
posted by blahblahblah at 11:27 AM on November 16, 2005


heavy handed "simulation" of the war on terror has been previously covered.
posted by jcruelty at 1:13 PM on November 16, 2005


crainiac. Thanks for making my point. I didn't mean to be snarky. Making edutainment is fun and good for the soul. How many studies are there out there that show training transfer from a game?

It should also be pointed out that even flight simulators, which almost everyone would argue are a good idea and very, very useful, were largely mandated by insurance companies and senior officers before they were really proven to be effective.
posted by sien at 7:12 PM on November 16, 2005


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