In my previous post on validating serious games (“What do you mean when you say your serious game has been validated? Experimental vs. Test Validity“) I tried to clear up some confusion around what it means when someone says their game has been “validated.” I called for people to specify whether or not their game had undergone a validation process as an intervention or as an assessment measure. Seems that there is even more confusion out there to clear up.
At many serious games conferences I attend, people talk about the pressing need for more serious games to be validated. People talk about the handful of examples of serious games that have been validated. I assume this means that scientific trials were conducted that validated the use of these serious game to impact outcomes.
But when I listen more closely, sometimes I hear people say that they have “validated” their serious game at various steps of the development process. Humph. How do you validate an incomplete game for effectiveness? Then it turns out they never conducted a trial to evaluate the efficacy of their game to impact outcomes. But they still say they “validated” their game. How can that be?