For over ten years, the gaming industry is thriving: Games on smartphones and on personal computers are enjoyed by tens of millions of consumers worldwide. The gaming market is already valued at tens of billions of dollars and is expected to continue to grow at a significant Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR). Modern games are pleasant, user-friendly and create an entertaining experience for their users. In several cases they are also seen as powerful tools for exercising critical thinking, improving team spirit, and boosting collaborative problem-solving. These properties have given rise to business uses of gaming: Nowadays many enterprises leverage games and gamification concepts in business applications.
The term “serious games” denotes games that serve other purposes than entertainment, such as learning, nudging, behavioral change, and soft skills development. The rationale behind the development and use of serious games is to develop an engaging, entertaining, immersive, and pleasant experience for their end-users. In this direction, the gaming scenario is considered in conjunction with learning strategies and domain knowledge. Many serious games involve rewards and competition towards motivating users to engage in training and skills development activities. Furthermore, serious games are extremely efficient when it comes to training entire groups of learners in settings like collaborative work and team projects.
Serious gaming is already used in various sectors, including the education, healthcare, hospitality, marketing, and manufacturing industries. Specifically:
Serious games are not like every other video or mobile game. They come with some characteristics that set them apart from conventional gaming experiences. Specifically:
The gaming industry has always had a two-way relationship with IT technologies. On the one hand, innovative games have driven technological development in areas like Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs), video streaming and Augmented Reality (AR). On the other hand, the development of innovative technologies like Virtual Reality (VR), Mixed Reality (MR), high-speed networks, and cloud computing is enabling unprecedented advances in gaming technology and applications. This symbiotic relationship between technology and gaming is an inspiration for serious games stakeholders, while driving the main trends that define the present and future of serious games. Specifically, the future of serious games is influenced by the following technological advances:
During the last couple of years many enterprises have leveraged the benefits of serious gaming in their business. Managers all over the world are increasingly dispelling the hype and taking advantage of the business benefits of serious games. This is the reason why it is really time for more CIOs to get serious about business gaming.
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