For most of us, gaming means sitting down in a comfy chair and indulging in a deep narrative, some exciting gameplay mechanics, or a bit of healthy competition—but the medium is by no means limited to entertainment. Enter the “serious game”.
Serious games are those which are designed with a purpose other than entertainment like one would find in online slot machines – and as such can refer to a whole host of different things. From national defence and city planning to scientific endeavour and education, the serious game is a vital part of gaming which is often left out of the discussion.
When studied, serious games yielded some great results from adult learners—with participants displaying 9% higher retention rates and 14% higher skill-based knowledge. In short, the serious game is clearly an effective form of training.
Healthcare is a sector which heavily utilises serious games in order to both train professionals and undergo various simulations.
Most notably dentists and surgeons can benefit greatly from simulations of surgeries, both in order to learn procedures and to practice them. Thanks to the rise of VR and AR, these simulations are getting more and more effective, allowing surgeons to use tools which reflect their real-world counterparts. Platforms like OssoVR provide these types of simulations.
While the entertainment side of gaming may be jam-packed with military-themed experiences, few of them get anywhere near the reality of warfare. So, although many military establishments use serious games to prepare their soldiers for any and every situation, they are not using those titles you’ll find on the shelf in a store.
Instead, serious games like America’s Army place trainees in complex situations allowing them to come to terms with the key tenets of military service in a safe, controlled environment.
Again, the military are also well known for utilising virtual reality in their training programs, as it’s immersive capabilities allow soldiers to get a much more realistic—and thus more educational—experience of the trials and tribulations they may face in the line of duty.
We all know how popular Euro Truck Simulator and the many other vehicular simulators are, but for the real-world drivers of such vehicles, serious games can help prevent disaster on the open road.
Most eminently, serious games can help teach truck drivers how to identify hazardous conditions, and how to react if they find themselves confronting them. This sees them face virtual ice, hail, road accidents and much more to better prepare them for the real thing.
Beyond truck drivers, there are also a large amount of other driving simulators, such as forklift simulators These help to teach forklift drivers how to safely and efficiently operate within the catastrophe-prone environment of a warehouse. It’s worth noting that this form of engaging with such professionals is far more effective than traditional and generic safety videos and paperwork.
It’s no secret that astronauts have an intense training regimen—be it in centrifuges to train them to withstand multiple G-forces or in virtual scenarios to deal with disaster. The various serious game utilised by astronaut training programs help to promote teamwork, level moods and prepare astronauts for a variety of different scenarios which could easily catch them off-guard in space.
The teams behind space travel also use a variety of incredibly complex simulations to map out spaceflight and plan for long voyages—but, of course, these move more into the realm of purpose-built simulations rather than serious games.
While flight simulators have leeched over into the sphere of commercial game, they are still very much a part of a pilot’s training and have been for over 80 years. From the pneumatically actuates flight simulators to those on a screen, these simulators equip pilots with the skills necessary to keep planes up in the air no matter the weather, or what disaster may strike. Nowadays it is easy to find Microsoft Flight Simulator key through services like Gamecamp and try it out for yourself.
The integration of virtual reality and advanced biometrics has pushed flight simulators even further, bringing a pilot’s early training one step closer to the reality of flying. It’s also worth noting that these advances in technology have produced notably faster results—seeing pilots being certified in a brief 4-months instead of the year that the traditional system requires.
While serious games are often quite, for want of a better word, serious simulations, it’s worth noting that other types of games can also be incredibly useful in the workplace. This is most commonly seen through gaming experiences used to fast-forward teambuilding. The logic of using co-operative games to help solidify teams is a relative no-brainer as games with team-oriented goals naturally bring people together and promote interaction where there may otherwise be tentativeness or awkwardness. It would be a great advice to recommend a VALORANT account that is one of the most popular multiplayer games that can help improve teambuilding.
From saving lives to transporting people/goods and building teams, we have seen that gaming has an incredibly important place in the professional workplace. By providing personnel in training with safe, simulated environments for them to learn within their ability to learn is often fast-forwarded as they can comfortably make mistakes and learn from them instantly.
So the next time you’re discussing the importance of gaming, remember that it has an essential place in the training regimes of many sectors—making it not only one of the most widely enjoyed forms of entertainment today, but also one of the most important.