Derived from the English word serious games, serious games evoke a software that combines serious learning intent with the fun aspect of video games. We try to convey informative content while keeping a lighter aspect than in a traditional lesson. The designers use the mechanisms of video games to raise awareness of various issues.
Although their definition varies from author to author, those interested in the phenomenon seem to agree on a few common concepts: learning, educational intent and the computer or virtual environment that achieves this goal.
In the imposing document Succeed in digital school, several characteristics of serious play are mentioned. This must implement a multidisciplinary approach and allow a differentiated pedagogy. The player can follow his progress and he plays a central role in the activity. The game values the player and allows collective use and exchanges. Finally, error is seen as a way to progress.
There are several types of serious games. For example, advertising games (the advergames) are used to promote the image of a brand. Think of Mentalizer and Room Ideas designed by Microsoft and Ikea to promote their products. Practice and simulation games allow you to learn how to perform a precise maneuver. Think of flight simulators, certain military programs or software for the health sector, such as the medicine or the pharmacy.
Teachers will undoubtedly be more interested in games of the edutainment type (the edugames). Their educational intentions are numerous and the clienteles they target are just as many. From preschool to university, from science to history to the development of skills and social attitudes, there is something for everyone. We can come to the aid of the planet, educate our students about humanitarian crises, better manage your budget, explore professions or develop your self-esteem. Some games target the body and movement (the exergames). However, it seems that those listed by popular directories are more exercise for the mind. Calculating your multiplications faster, enriching your vocabulary, working on your memory or quitting smoking are some examples.
What they are not ...
Are all games found on the internet serious games? Certainly not! Carrefour education and Infobourg asked the question to Yasmine Kasbi, Belgian specialist in serious gaming. "The quizzes presented in a fun form are not," she replies. You find a cartoonist or a simulation there but no gameplay. »According to the blog host Seriousgame.be, with a few exceptions, most of the games offered on Facebook don't teach us anything when they could.