“Serious games” taken… seriously!

Not all games are created equal, both from an educational and entertainment standpoint. That said, several "serious" quality games have emerged and this would only be the beginning, according to Emmanuel Mandart, who is currently writing his master's thesis on the subject at the University of Montreal.

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Not all games are created equal, both from an educational and entertainment standpoint. That said, several quality "serious" games have emerged and this would only be the beginning, according to Emmanuel Mandart, who is currently writing his master's thesis on the subject at the University of Montreal.

In 2010, the global turnover in this sector was $ 1.5 billion and it is estimated that it could reach $ 10 billion by 2015, he mentioned in a recently offered workshop. From the flu pandemic and running a business to raising awareness about poverty and using the web responsibly, there really is something for everyone.

According to a researcher from the American University Carnegie Mellon, 21-year-olds living in a country with a strong gaming culture like the United States spent an average of 10,000 hours playing video games. By comparison, a young person spends 10,080 hours on school benches between the age of 10 and 18! So there is a lot of potential there.

In Quebec, Science in play started about fifteen years ago in the world of serious games. Three researchers looked at one of them: Mechanika. According to their research, the Mécanika game allows adolescents to retain the different concepts better than with traditional teaching!

Mr. Mandart is also interested in young people who play Mécanika. For his research, he selected 350 which were divided into two groups. The former play the usual game. Instead, the latter use a version in which the pedagogical scenario has been removed. The idea is to verify the advantage of the scenario in terms of learning. These results will be presented a little later.

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About the Author

Nathalie Côté
Nathalie Cote
Nathalie is a journalist. His favorite themes are family, education, health, consumption, the environment and social phenomena. She contributes in particular to the newspaper La Presse.

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