Serious Games are games in a broad sense with a serious topic, where the intention is to create not only game enjoyment but also a learning experience. Typically, Serious Games are designed to teach citizens about complex, systemic topics such as climate change. Serious Games include all forms of games, including computer games, board games, card games, role-plays, games in Virtual Reality or any other form of learning experience that includes game elements.

  • Learning Enhancement: Allow safe, experiential learning.

  • Accessibility Improvement: Can make complex systems more accessible, e.g. creating an experience about a global problem for a small and local group.

  • Engaging Experience: Enjoyable, immersive, creative and social.

  • Insightful Problem Solving: Generate new insights into problems, for example for decision makers.

  • Lack of knowledge transfer: An obvious risk is that they are experienced as ‘just games’ so direct knowledge transfer from the game to real-life is rare.

  • Difficult to design: Developing good, deep, and entertaining games is no easy task and requires the professional input of game designers.

  • Assume simplification is possible: The assumption that highly complex topics can be presented to players in an easily understandable manner is not always the case.


ECO: Eco is a best practice example of a sophisticated and positively received online Serious Game about the environment. Some environmental games (e.g. Fate of the World) address climate issues holistically, whereas Eco focuses on more specific environmental topics such as biodiversity.


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