A Serious game is a game which serves a purpose other than pure amusement. This purpose could be learning, data collection, skill development, etc. The idea is to take a mundane approach that is usually employed for such serious objectives and wrap it into a game. So, to conceptualize a serious game, it is important to first drill down to what is considered a game.
Merriam Webster gives a simple definition : activity engaged in for diversion or amusement.
Fat help that is. We need to get a little more technical …
Salen & Zimmerman gives : A game is a system in which players engage in an artiﬁcial conﬂict, deﬁned by rules, that results in a quantiﬁable outcome. Now we are talking!
We have built an infographic (above) which does a chunk down analysis of the concept of a “GAME”.
It breaks down the game into its constituents: Medium, Story, Game World, Role Play, Head Count, Game Time, Activities, Objectives, Opposition, Currency, Game Mechanics, Game Progression, Rewards, Punishments, Victory Conditions and Game Scores.
This is the first of a series of infographics which will focus on distilling out the exact process of developing and iterating a Serious Game. Feel free to use this graphic as is anywhere, for personal or commercial purposes.