So you mean something else when you say your serious game has been “validated”? Confusion Part 2

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.

Continue reading “So you mean something else when you say your serious game has been “validated”? Confusion Part 2″

What do you mean when you say your serious game has been validated? Experimental vs. Test Validity

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?

Continue reading “What do you mean when you say your serious game has been validated? Experimental vs. Test Validity”

“How do you measure self-efficacy? The answer may surprise you”

As a follow-up to my post on measuring the impact of serious games (see “8 Tips For Measuring the Impact of Serious Games”), let me give you a little quiz. It’s not as easy as it may seem.

senior citLet’s say you made a serious game to increase the engagement of seniors in regular physical activity at a gym. One of the “research goals” of your game was to increase player’s self-efficacy to Continue reading ““How do you measure self-efficacy? The answer may surprise you””

“Working with researchers who are legendary game designers in their own mind”

A good serious game is inherently interdisciplinary. It requires multimedia artists, engineers, business people, content experts, behavioral scientists, designers, project managers, quality assurance experts, producers, administrators and members of the target audience to work together seamlessly to produce a product that combines engaging gameplay with learning goals. One of the biggest challenges facing the serious game team is overcoming Continue reading ““Working with researchers who are legendary game designers in their own mind””

“10 Tips for Finding a Developer to Make Your First Serious Game”

1. Work out your serious game idea and learning goals as much as possible before you approach a development team.

If not, the developers will make the game that they are capable of making which may or Continue reading ““10 Tips for Finding a Developer to Make Your First Serious Game””

Putting self-efficacy theory into serious games

People often ask me how one can incorporate a learning or behavioral theories into games. It is not easy to do but there is one theory that has been incorporated into serious Continue reading “Putting self-efficacy theory into serious games”

“Warning: Negative Target Fixation Is Dangerous to Your Innovative Serious Game Project”


I spent a lot of time in Silicon Valley before I moved to the Netherlands. In fact, I studied and worked there for 17 years. And while my work-life balance is much better here in Europe, I am grateful to have had the
Continue reading ““Warning: Negative Target Fixation Is Dangerous to Your Innovative Serious Game Project””