Serious games or educational games, are games designed for a primary purpose other than pure entertainment. Serious games have an explicit and carefully thought-out educational purpose and are not intended to be played primarily for amusement. Serious games are used to train adults in a variety of subjects. Despite the fact that it is a relatively new term in the training industry, the results have already been positively proven. Serious games enhance knowledge acquisition and soft skills development by facing different situations, challenges and problems and therefore make it possible to put learning into practice.
Serious games can be applied to learning but also as a way of communicating and advertising. They can be used as a training platform for hard skills too. In serious games there has to be a link between the real and the virtual world, and its main purpose has to go further than just being fun. There are different kinds of serious games for different audiences and made for different technologies, uses and platforms.(computers, game consoles, virtual worlds and social media,…). We can difine 3 categories which have different objectives:
- Edutainment games or educational games
- Advergaming or games to promote a new brand or product
- Simulation games
In the training industry we can find two main modules, soft skills training and hard skills training. Serious games are especially interesting for soft skills as they make the training of the theoretical contents possible, which is essential for efficient skills learning. For professionals, soft skills are increasingly important for their development. Using classic formats for soft skills training is proving infective while serious games have become an essential tool for corporate training.