Background

Serious games combine both entertainment and a primary purpose of training, informing, persuading or learning. The serious games market is a multi-billion-dollar industry set to increase as the use of serious games technology gains acceptance in education and training. Forecasts predict that the serious games industry will grow from a US $1.5-billion-dollar industry in 2012 to $2.3 billion dollar in 2017, with the more broadly defined simulation based learning market reaching an estimate of between $6.6 and 10 billion by 2017. Key growth is being seen in mobile educational games.

Serious games are increasingly being used in a variety of sectors including education, government, military, corporate and healthcare markets. Traditional methods of education and training are expensive, labour and time intensive. Such methods often require large staff components, time away from work to receive training and associated logistical costs. As ever more digital natives enter the educational and employment sectors, traditional teaching methods are also increasingly outdated and irrelevant to target consumers. Increasingly digital natives are the students at universities and make up the young work force. It is these individuals that have come to expect the integration of technology in their learning and training experiences. This results in decreased engagement with training and poorer training outcomes. Research is emerging which demonstrates that game based learning improves learning outcomes whilst promoting increased engagement, enjoyment of learning and motivation. This translates to improved uptake of knowledge and skills and improved end user experience.