The quality of a serious game is also measured in the way we deliver it to users. The more we facilitate access and ease of implementation, the better their experience will be. It is one thing to have to install the content of four CDs and all their executable files, and wait for each of them to load, and quite another just to enter a username and password and start playing in remote mode. To make this possible we have “the Cloud”.
“Cloud computing” is a model for the use of computers which is based on one simple idea: everything which would normally be stored in the memory of your PC (applications, programs, files, etc.) is instead contained within a set of servers accessible via the Internet. In the field of serious games, Cloud computing offers many benefits:
- Users do not need to bother with any software to be installed on their computers.
- The game can be accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection and on various devices. The service can be delivered worldwide.
- Games are more easily and swiftly integrated. Serious games in the Cloud are typically more compatible with any operating system or device.
- Implementation is simpler, swifter, more scalable and involves fewer risks.
This tendency to house everything in the “Cloud” is connected with globalisation and company relocation. At a time when everyone is calling for greater independence in every aspect of their lives, training is no exception. People want mobility, the capacity to develop wherever they are and at any time, to benefit from “ubiquitous learning”.
The needs of major multinationals are heading in the same direction: they have to train people who could be thousands of miles apart, while also ensuring that they all share the same objectives and take on board the same messages. That is why the move to the Cloud makes sense.
So what experiences have you had of hosting your files in the Cloud? Have you tried out any online simulators? How do you see the applicability of Cloud Computing to the world of serious games? Let us know!