How ‘serious games’ could help save lives

Students at Coventry University’s Serious Games Institute aren’t just learning to model 3D environments and tweak reward mechanics, they’re creating games to save lives.

“There are so many problems in the world that need to be solved. We believe you can save the world with games technology,” says the SGI’s director of research, Professor Sara de Freitas. “Games are such a powerful media. And we are so thrilled to be part of a movement around serious games.”

For ‘serious’ read ‘non-entertainment’ games, according to de Freitas’ broad definition of the term. And before several patent lawyers grown wealthy off the back of huge lawsuits and a captivated global audience of many millions baulk at the implication that all ‘entertainment-first’ games aren’t serious, we really are talking about another breed here.

The disaster survival, social learning and health software SGI staff and students create for clients around the world engage children and adults in fun games with an often stark educational point. SGI’s roster includes titles designed to monitor forest fires, help Italian youngsters escape earthquake-hit schools and even a quiz which educates British teenagers about sexual coercion.

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(Quelle: Edge, Lee Hall, www.edge-online.com)

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