Changing Serious Games

While there has been no comprehensive study on the Serious games market by any independent agency, as yet, there are many indicators of its growing popularity in Singapore. While Singapore has a relatively mature serious games market in sectors such as Defence science and technology, Marine & Cargo and Advergaming in recent years an increasing number of new projects have been released in Education, Corporate training, Banking & Finance and Medicine.
Playware alone has released over 60 serious games titles in the last 4 years and has been involved with a slew of serious games initiatives. Playware’s games are currently used for primary, secondary, polytechnic, university, adult education and corporate training.

Games are an exciting new medium for education engaging students and making them into self-directed and motivated learners. In the recent years over 300 research papers have been published, to show the effectiveness of games as a teaching and learning medium.

Many of Playware’s games are part of core-curriculum or formal assessment in a wide range of educational institutions and several games have had distribution to over a hundred thousand users. Specific examples of increased usage and improved engagement in teaching and learning include:

•          Our serious games engine ‘Mystery matters’ has been used by teachers of the Centre for Learning innovation, NSW, Australia to develop over 20 games for distribution to 2200 schools. Mystery matters had several games where 30% or more students logged in again, from home, to play the game online on their own accord.

•          Our serious game Petals was distributed to over 30,000 teachers in Singapore as part of their professional development.

•          Our serious games Statecraft, Ecocity, Simplicity and Vanished have all enjoyed upwards of 85% positive reviews. (all three games have been distributed to over fifty thousand students.)

•          One of our latest games project ‘Bakery Palace’ (a cost accounting game for polytechnic students) enjoyed a 98% positive review when a test group of 50+ students was asked to rate the game comprehensively.

However up till now the cost of using games in the classroom was too prohibitive for it to be rational for teachers to adopt them.

The serious games industry, as we know it, is inherently flawed. Serious collaborations between the education and entertainment professionals mean big budgets and long and iterative schedules where the development would need to go back and forth. Such ballooning of cost often results in games becoming an irrational teaching tool despite their proven efficiency as a learning aid.

This gave birth to the idea of 3DHive, a rapid prototyping tool that let teachers create their own games and virtual worlds without the need for sourcing art, music or programming. Playware created large thematic libraries of digital assets that teachers could use in their games and virtual worlds free of any copyright restrictions.

3D Hive is an advanced virtual world designed to be used for Education. It features integrated multimedia support, multimodal communication and secure online environments. It is a Standalone virtual world that provides all the strengths of the virtual worlds without the need for external hosting. It thrives on user generated content and provides easy to use tools for creation of content.

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