“You might be a serious games researcher if….”

I thought I’d post something fun about how to figure out if you are a serious games researcher.

Here goes…

You might be a serious games researcher if…

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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?

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Do Brain Training Games Work? Yes, No and Maybe.

I was recently asked on Twitter if I thought brain training games like Lumosity were “any good.” My short Twitter response was that the answer is YES, NO, and MAYBE.  Here is  a more detailed explanation from my perspective as a psychologist, researcher and maker of serious games.

Picture 49

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Games and aggression: Is it a bad thing?

I am often asked what I think about video games and aggression. It is a funny question because how can I say that games can’t make you aggressive if I also think games can affect what you do and think? I’d like to take this opportunity to resolve this seeming Continue reading “Games and aggression: Is it a bad thing?”

What Grand Theft Auto taught me about the importance of graphics in serious games

When I was growing up on Lookout Mountain in the great state of Tennessee, there was a tourist shop close to my house that sold items that were supposed to reflect the rural culture of the area. I particularly remember a ceramic trivet you could hang on your wall Continue reading “What Grand Theft Auto taught me about the importance of graphics in serious games”

10 Tips for Making a Successful Serious Game

1) Plan from the beginning to do research on your game. It makes everyone stay honest. Start with research on the target group and what they want.

2) Pick a game development team that is passionate about your project and has made Continue reading “10 Tips for Making a Successful Serious Game”

What SoulCalibur taught me about making serious games: Lesson 2

SoulCalibur again? Oh yes, the game is just too good for just one post. You can read Lesson 1 in this series to see how I was introduced to the game SoulCalibur and the first lesson it taught me. Now here’s the second lesson it taught me:

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