Category Archives: Serious Games

Serious Games

Serious Games for Education and Training. De Gloria, A et al. International Journal of Serious Games. Vol 1, (1), 2014

“Contextualizing the player’s experience in challenging realistic environments, supporting situated cognition.” Allow players to be in a play environment to explore formal learning in a wide variety of situations, even to mimic work in “complex/costly environments or dangerous/critical situations.”

This is a great soup to nuts review (for a non-serious gamer) of the state of the art of serious gaming.

Interesting concepts:
1. Constructivist learning theories in gaming – knowledge created through experience while exploring the world and performing activities. But have to be mindful of cognitive load theory
* game has to balance the inherent challenge and the players ability to address and overcome the challenge
2. “Flow” to measure engagement in an educational game (has 8 components)
concentration, challenge, skills, control, clear goals, feedback, immersion, and social interaction.
3. Assessment and feedback through the serious game
– different learning analytics through which to provide feedback (may also include cameras, eye trackers, vital signs), as well as assessment to figure out what the leaner has learned.
* this is not mentioned in this article – but check out (play an interview – and see the feedback you get…)

figure 4 – reminder of Bloom’s taxonomy and Kolb’s learning theory – also brought up was the Nonaka SECI model (socialization, externalization, combination, internalization)

From Content to Context: Videogames as Designed Experience. Squire, K. Educational Researcher Vol 35, no 8, pp 19-29, Nov 2006
“videogames as a designed experiences, in which participants learn through a grammar of doing and being.”
Table 1: Interesting aspects of components of the learner and game as interface – that easily apply to learning goals in bloom’s taxonomy and Kolb’s learning stages.

Interesting side tales about the Grand Theft Auto game, as well as Civilization III, and a game called Supercharged! (to help learn about electrostatic physics.) Not everything in serious games is overtly on the military front.

Possibility for anonymity as a member of a game, being able to experiment, learn through successes, learn through failure, redo and improve, to become expert problem solvers.
Learning from a game is only as good as the work that goes into the designed experience for the learner.

A Comprehensive Review of Serious Games in Health Professions.  Ricciardi F, De Paolis LT. International Journal of Computer Games Technology. Vol 2014, Article ID 787968

In their review of serious games developed for health professions, the authors described the “state of the art of serious games” and sought to understand if they are useful tools for training as well as the benefits and the current issues related to them.  The review was grouped by the area of application ( surgery, odontology, nursing, cardiology, first aid, dietician and diabetes, psychology and other.) They concluded that serious games for health professions are not as widespread as expected and the highest number of games was found in the field of first aid.   The focus of the papers was mostly on development of serious games and how they were used in a particular area of health.

***In the serious games review – only a few included an evaluation component. ( no standardized way to do this in serious games.)

Another issue identified was the lack of a multiplayer component to many of these games; Since healthcare now emphasizes the importance of a teamwork approach, the authors thought this to be a shortcoming.

Four factors were identified that highlight the differences between serious games from traditional simulators: entertainment factor, developmental costs, developmental time, and deployment costs.  The entertainment factor was the obvious advantage and each of the other factors were claimed to be lower in cost for the serious games.

Questions from the reading:  Who develops the games? Who states the game are valid for the skills trying to be learned? Time/Cost analysis for development/testing and use of serious games vs. simulation training?

 de Wit-Zuurendonk L, Oei S. Serious gaming in women’s health care. BJOG 2011;118 (Suppl. 3): 17–21.

A clipped quote from the article “Systemic search in pubmed – this search revealed zero hits for serious gaming in women’s health care.”

Learning background theory: Four elements important to adult learning – autonomy, past experience, goal oriented (or orientated), problem based learners rather than content oriented.

People enjoy gaming, some evidence that serious games are associated with increased technical skills. Male students like gaming more than female students (from data in the supplement).

In a non-technical skills pathway: One study that showed that triage was better after serious games vs. a card based game.

Cons of serious games – solo work; not able to fully replicate team dynamics;

Take Away thoughts from the morning:

Not a ton of data yet about efficacy of serious gaming in relationship to medicine (but taking the leap of faith from the aviation community that we have to medical simulation…)

Could serious games be the pre-reading/preparation work of the future for in person simulation training?

Interesting applications are out and about, they are not all military based anymore.

The VCUHS Geriatrics Division along with the school of medicine developed a serious game of sorts – more inter professional interaction, with faculty facilitation – using simulated patient information, not in real time, not in virtual reality, but I think this counts.