Edition 2008 ©
600 million to one billion potentialusers worldwide. At the end of 2007, the global videogame industry was worth 30 billionUSD. At the same time, the seriousgaming market was estimated to beworth between 1.5 and 10+ billionUSD. According to IDC, 40% of the USAe-learning market will employserious gaming in 2008.In the USA alone, the advergamingindustry is expected to be worth262 million USD in 2008. According to a SharpBrains study,the Brain Fitness software marketgrew from 100 million USD in 2005to 225 million USD in 2007 in theUnited States.Serious games can be classified inthree main categories:-
Message-based serious games,-
Training serious games,-
Simulation or serious playserious games.
Defining serious gaming
There is a huge variety of ways to classifyserious gaming. However, accepting theambiguities and possible challenges in-herent in this, this study defines seriousgaming as follows:
The purpose of a serious game is toget users to interact with an IT applicationthat combines aspects of tutoring, teach-ing, training, communications and informa-tion, with a recreational element and/or technology derived from video games.
This combination aims to make prac-tical, useful content (serious) enjoyable(game). It is achieved bydevelopingscenarios that are at once practical andenjoyable.
The origins of serious gaming
, developed for the U.S.army and distributed free-of-charge over the internet as of 2002, is considered thefirst ever significant serious game, withover 17 million downloads recorded in2004 alone. The first-person shooter simu-lates military training exercises and com-bat missions, though the main aim of thegame is to promote the American armyand to serve as a recruitment tool for young people between 16 and 24.
Links between gaming and the armyare far from new: during World War II, thearmy’s general staff were the first to use"wargames", and employed them to im-prove their image with the population.
In the United States, many peopleassociate the term "serious games" with"military games".
North American approaches are usu-ally employed to promote the seriousgame industry.
Today, serious games are employed in awide variety of sectors.
: one of the most importantareas in terms of client investment andorders. Serious games are also used byarmies in Europe, though less widely thanin the USA.
Teaching and training
: serious gam-ing has a key role to play in this market,and IDC predicts that by the end of 2008,40% of e-learning applications in the USAwill employ the technology.
: serious games designedfor advertising (advergames) allow clientsto promote a particular brand or product tousers throughout a game. In the UnitedStates alone, the advergamingindustry isexpected to be worth 262 million USD in2008.
Information and communications
:though details on the information marketare still anecdotal, advertising-relatedcommunications (edumarket games) areplaying an increasingly significant role inin-game advertising, an industry currentlyworth 205 million USD (USA, 2008).
: Nintendo has enjoyed con-siderable success with applications dedi-cated to brain training and fitness. Accord-ing to a SharpBrains study, this marketrose from 100 million USDto225 million USD between 2005 and 2007,in the USA alone.
: though this sector only ac-counts for a minor part of the seriousgaming industry at present, strong growthis possible, particularly in the areas of cultural and industrial tourism.
: this sector is unique in thatit does not follow traditional economicmodels: titles are produced with little or nofinancial backing and have the sole objec-tive of putting across a particular mes-sage, such as that of
September the 12
,based on the 9/11 attacks.
Advergaming, edugaming,training and more
This study outlines the characteristics, uses and different genres of serious game. Itexamines the challenges involved in the design, development and distribution of various types of titles,while analysing the outlook for the industry and its growthdrivers.