serious games

Serious games are tangible digital products that balance learning theory and content with game mechanics to achieve specific in-game learning outcomes.

In literature, Serious Games combine entertainment, fun or amusement with learning activities, teaching strategies and assessment methods to enhance knowledge and skills1 . Digital games have been introduced into education and training in two ways: professional development and training (helping teachers to improve their teaching practice - e.g.2 3 ) and learning (helping learners to improve their learning experience - e.g. Wouters et al.,4 ), paving the way for the terms "serious games" or "educational games"5 6 .

The overriding objective of these games is to have an impact on how content and process can be approached in a different way from conventional teaching and learning approaches, i.e. by integrating rich mediated content with fantasy, competition and immersion7 . Learning occurs naturally through the mechanisms and dynamics of the game that motivate the player to learn, sometimes by chance and unconsciously, the associated content while focusing on winning points or completing a level.

Over the past two decades, there has been a growing demand for games that educate and train, real teaching tools to create interactive, engaging and immersive learning activities. Gee8 says that, at a minimum, games provide a framework for exploring and learning concepts, increasing self-efficacy, collaboration, inquiry and general skills. Gee argues that critical thinking and active learning are essential factors in building the student's learning experience. A game can encourage this critical thinking and active engagement through the internal design of the game itself and through the discussions, reflections and debates that can be induced between learners and people in their environment during and after the game.

1 T. Hess et G. Gunter, "Serious game-based and nongame-based online courses: Learning experiences and outcomes", Br. J. Educ. Technol., vol. 44, mai 2013.
2 P. Lameras, M. Savin-Baden, P. Petridis, I. Dunwell, et F. Liarokapis, "Fostering Science Teachers’ Design for Inquiry-Based Learning by Using a Serious Game", in 2014 IEEE 14th International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies, 2014, p. 222‑226.
3 P. Lameras, S. Arnab, I. Dunwell, C. Stewart, S. Clarke, et P. Petridis, "Essential features of serious games design in higher education: Linking learning attributes to game mechanics", Br. J. Educ. Technol., vol. 48, no 4, p. 972‑994, 2017.
4 P. Wouters, C. van Nimwegen, H. van Oostendorp, et E. D. van der Spek, "A meta-analysis of the cognitive and motivational effects of serious games", J. Educ. Psychol., vol. 105, no 2, p. 249‑265, 2013.
5 M. Zyda, "From visual simulation to virtual reality to games", Computer, vol. 38, no 9, p. 25‑32, sept. 2005.
6 R. J. Lancaster, "Serious Game Simulation as a Teaching Strategy in Pharmacology", Clin. Simul. Nurs., vol. 10, no 3, p. e129‑e137, mars 2014.
7 A. Alamri, M. M. Hassan, M. A. Hossain, M. Al-Qurishi, Y. Aldukhayyil, et M. S. Hossain, "Evaluating the impact of a cloud-based serious game on obese people", Comput. Hum. Behav., vol. 30, p. 468‑475, janv. 2014.
8 J. Gee, "The New Literacy Studies: From’’socially situated’’to the work of the social", Situated Literacies Read. Writ. Context, janv. 2000.