April 09, 2004

Serious Games

Among the most interesting things in March was the Serious Games summit at the Game Developers' Conference in San Jose. Almost three hundred people turned up for the two-day affair, nicely organized and hosted by Ben Sawyer of Digital Mill and the Woodrow Wilson Center.

My sense from heaqring the comments is that quite a number of people found an intellectual home and set of colleagues for the kids of work they had been trying to do independently ( i.e make, use or study games as a means of communication of non-entertainment-oriented content. )

The two-day "summit" had panels on games and learning, military and government games, corporate games, and several other topics. (see www.seriousgames.org/wiki) .

I moderated a panel called "Crossing the Chasm," which highlighted some of the barriers to moving serious games from the early adopters to the mainstream, and tried to offer some solutions. The slides I used in my presentation are avilable on the wiki.

To me, this gathering, along with the more than 100 games listed on www.socialimpactgames.com, are an indication of just how far and fast we have progressed in this area since the publication of my book in 2001.

For those interested in paricipating in an ongoing discussion, there is a [seriousgames] online discussion group. To join, contact Ben Sawyer at bsawyer@dmill.com. There will be some activites based around www.socialimpactgames.com as well -- stay tuned.

Posted by Marc at April 9, 2004 10:30 PM