Serious Games: Games That Educate, Train, and Inform Paperback – Oct 10 2005
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Part 1. What are Serious Games? 1. New Opportunites for Game Developers 2. Serious Games Defined 3. Serious Games Design and Development Issues Part 2. Serious Games Markets 4. Military Games 5. Government Games 6. Educational Games 7. Corporate Games 8. Healthcare Games 9. Political, Religious, and Art Games 10. Final Thoughts Part 3. Appendixes Appendix A: Resources Appendix B: Serious Games Survey Results Appendix C: Bibliography
About the Author
David "RM" Michael has been a professional programmer for over 10 years, in a variety of industries, including video games. He is the owner of DavidRM Software (http://www.davidrm.com) and co-owner of Samu Games(http://www.samugames.com), both independent software companies. David is the author of The Indie Game Development Survival Guide (Charles River Media; ISBN:1584502142) and was a contributor to Game Design Perspectives (Charles River Media; ISBN:1584500905) on the topic of online community. He has written articles about game development, and covered the Game Developer Conference and the Indie Games Conference for GameDev.Net (http://www.gamedev.net). He has also written role-playing game articles (http://www.davidrm.com/rpg/) and designed his own (unpublished) dice-and-paper RPG rules system. Finally, David has been the editor and primary contributor for the monthly newsletters of both The Journal (http://www.davidrm.com/thejournal/newsletter/) and Artifact (http://www.samugames.com/artifact/news.shtml).
A freelance writer/game designer, Sande Chen has been active in the gaming industry for over five years. She has written for mainstream and industry publications, such as GameDev.Net (http://www.gamedev.net), and was a contributor to Secrets of the Game Business (Charles River Media; ISBN: 1584502827) on the topic of online business models. Her past game credits include IGF winner Terminus, Siege of Avalon, Scooby Doo, and JamDat Scrabble. Sande graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with dual degrees in Economics and in Writing and Humanistic Studies. Afterwards, she continued to combine her love of creative media with her analytical skills by earning a M.Sc. in Economics from the London School of Economics and a M.F.A. in Cinema-Television from the University of Southern California. In 1996, she was nominated for a Grammy in music video direction.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Then the book surprises. It has entire chapters on EACH of the following: Military Games, Government Games, Educational Games, Corporate Games, Healthcare Games, and a chapter on Political, Religious, and Art Games.
Following final thoughts, the book surprises again. The appendices are world-class. Appendix A is a tremendous listing of Conferences (13 in all), and Organizations (6), Contests (1, Hidden Agenda, $25K prize--we need MORE); web sites (6, less impressive than I hoped), and publications (5). Appendix B is a survey with results, and Appendix C is a very fine bibliography as well as a very helpful Glossary of terms in the field, and an index.
Ever since I saw the US Army sponsor the Serious Games summit, and then saw the emergent success of Games for Change, I realized that we were at the beginning of a major explosion of innovation that could change the world.
In my view, Serious Games need to become the new hub for life-long education, for inter-cultural understanding, and for simulating belief systems, including evil belief systems, at both the macro and micro neuroscience levels. The Earth Intelligence Network was just created this year in order to feed free real-world public intelligence to all Serious Gamers as well as to Transpartisan policy and budget developers.
In my humble opinion, Serious Games is the next big leap in the global Internet, especially when integrated with the Way of the Wiki such that open source software standards can allow games on every threat, every policy, every budget, every location, to interact and to empower the public with tools for sense-making and consensus-building that were once limited to a small elite.
This book was everything I hoped for, and much more. I am not now and never intend to be a game developer. I want to see Serious Games expand from isolated toy-like games that focus on one small issue in isolation, to a vibrant "Co-Evolution" Sphere that in an increasingly accurate representation of the Earth, past, present, and future. This book is my ground zero in observing this field, and I have very high hopes for the future of Serious Games.
Enter this book.
David Michael (author of "indie game developers survival guide") and Sande Chen have provided an indispensable review of this area in their book "Serious Games: Games that Educate, Train, and Inform". Touching upon all the major areas, they provide a blanket survey of the past and present efforts in this arena, introducing us along the way to the people and the companies that are changing the landscape of video games into something that transcends entertainment. The reading is light and the pace is brisk. The content is clearly broken up so that a person can skip straight to their area of interest or read it front to back and take it all in. The coverage is complete and I feel that no area of the Serious Games space was missed.
I wish I would have had this book three years ago when I started my projects. I would have had a much better idea of where I'm coming from and where I'm going. I am thankful to David and Sande for putting this book together in hopes that future developers will not have to struggle as much as I have.
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