Some times ago we talked about the benefits of gamification, i.e. the use of elements borrowed from games and game design in not-playful contexts. Today we will examine in depth the gamification trends for 2020, specifically we will analyse the world of serious games. The gamification is often used in different contexts and it is useful to achieve different types of goals.
Let’s see together which goals are reached by gamification and how. We will illustrate an overview of the latest news in this field.
serious games: origins and objectives
The serious games are fundamental tools to implement the gamification, in fact among the main purpose of games there are the learning and the facilitation of the decision-making process, but not only. Serious games also help maintain mental flexibility, they teach how to manage multiple activities simultaneously and increase productivity in general.
There is a clear difference in the purpose between serious games and video games: this latter is played to have fun and entertain, while in serious games having fun is not the main purpose. Those listed above are just some of the objectives that can be achieved by serious games, which are born in the 70s and keep exponentially growing.
The first digital serious game was The Oregon Trail, created in 1971 for the Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium. To date, serious games are increasingly expanding their presence and the offer to the market.
Types of serious games and areas of application of gamification
There are different types of serious games: non-digital (such as board games and construction) and digital.
Both types continue to be used by players, but digital games are the most loved around the world. Probably, it is due to the increasing diffusion of technologies in the IT field and to the active dissemination of knowledge related to the sector.
During a time when the digital transformation is changing our life and the ecosystems we live in, the choice to opt for digital serious games is the winning choice. In fact, by adopting a more visual and practical approach, also based on interaction, it is possible to involve more the interested audiences.
What are the areas of application of gamification and, as a consequence, also of serious games?
The latest gamification trend
The gamification universe is getting bigger and bigger, especially with regard to digital serious games. But what are the major trends in this interesting field? Let’s find out together.
Greater user involvement
To be sure that a serious game is appreciated and it leads to greater user involvement, the adoption of a product must be carefully evaluated. The most popular serious games are those that periodically release expansions of their product, so that it provides the user with always new and current contents. Thus, it is possible to stimulate the curiosity of users, attracting them more and more towards educational games.
Investments on customisation
A serious game should release new contents to be increasingly appreciated over time. We are not just talking about extensions but customised paths, which are outlined according to the user interaction with the product. Thanks to this approach it is possible to adopt solutions increasingly closer to the needs of users, retaining them and always obtaining new stimuli for the future.
Network building on serious games
Like video games, in recent years we are witnessing an exponential growth of serious games and, consequently, of online communities on the subject. Social media, through groups and fan pages, become complementary to blogs and forums, acting as a “sounding board” for the dissemination of news in the field of serious games. Just surfing the web, you can keep at pace with the latest news and exchange interesting opinions and experiences, useful for both providers and users.
Internationalization, interdisciplinarity and more
That of serious games is not a phenomenon, but an established reality, which is growing at steady pace. For sure, among the most interesting aspects there are the expansion of knowledge and practice of serious games in the world. They are now used in the most diverse contexts and locations. Serious games are now part of a pedagogical and playful culture that looks to the future. It becomes clear their growing importance by the continuous expansion of these serious games in different areas of competence and knowledge. What strikes the most is the fact that they can be easily adapted to the different needs of users.
Serious games are able to bring people closer to each other and attract them towards knowledge and practice (and in the case of the use of games in the medical field, they can be also a bridge towards healing).
Let’s experts have the floor
The serious games industry is crossing barriers not only disciplinary but also linguistic and technological, becoming ever-more a valuable investment for companies and training institutions. This is why it is essential to rely on products and companies that have a long and consolidated experience in the field.
VITECO has been creating serious games since 2004, the year of its foundation, and since then it has taken important steps forward in the field of gamification. By creating intuitive educational games and captivating graphics, VITECO constantly collaborates in many European projects in the field of education. Therefore, investing in serious games means investing in the future and the new generations that will constitute a highly valuable social capital. Moreover, the benefits from the use of educational games, fundamental in eduntaiment (the union of education and entertainment), are numerous and evident even in the short term.
In particular, the teachers, who involved their students in activities concerning the use of serious games, noticed that this kind of games:
These are just some of the advantages that both educators and learners can gain using serious games. Whether it concerns role-playing games, puzzles, runners or quizzes, fun and learning are ensured.
Educating while having fun: our serious games
VITECO in recent years has developed serious games aimed at food and ecological education but also at learning mathematics in multicultural and multilingual contexts.
Here are some examples of educational games, created by our experts, for European projects such as immiMath and #MissionEurope:
Serious games coming up in the future are numerous and VITECO continues to invest time and resources in research and development, for the creation and design of increasingly cutting-edge products.
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