16 August 2006

The Serious Games Initiativew

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Serious Games
The Serious Games Initiative is focused “on uses for games in exploring management and leadership challenges facing the public sector. Part of its overall charter is to help forge productive links between the electronic game industry and projects involving the use of games in education, training, health, and public policy.”

The website, which is really a blog, was developed by David Rejeski, director of the Foresight and Governance Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., and Ben Sawyer, president of Digitalmill, Inc. a Portland, ME based consultancy.

On the Wilson Centre website — which strangely enough doesn’t provide a link back to the Serious Games Initiative website — you can read an interesting article by David Rejeski where he argues that there should be a public sector body to make video games in the same way that PBS or the BBC makes radio and television. This body, which Rejeski calls “Corporation for Public Gaming”, “would operate on a model similar to its broadcasting equivalent, providing grants to develop a diversity of games for the public good.” In other words its goal would be “to provide high-quality games, which ‘inform, enlighten and enrich the public.”

Sawyer was also the volunteer producer of the first Serious Games Summit held at the 2004 Game Developers’ Conference. The 2006 Serious Games Summit is “the premier professional conference for the creators and commissioners of serious games, [focused on] the use of interactive games technology within non-entertainment sectors”. The Summit is organised by Jamil Moledina of the tech marketing company CMP. Moledina and CMP are also in charge of the Game Developers’ Conference.

(via my business partner Jan-Christoph Zoels and Anne Galloway of Ottawa’s Carleton University)

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