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A serious game or applied game is a game designed for a primary purpose other than pure entertainment. The "serious" adjective is generally prepended to refer to video games used by industries like defense, education, scientific exploration, health care, emergency management, city planning, engineering, and politics. The idea shares aspects with simulation generally, including flight simulation and medical simulation, but explicitly emphasizes the added pedagogical value of fun and competition.
The use of games in educational circles has been practiced since at least the twentieth century. Use of paper-based educational games became popular in the 1960s and 1970s, but waned under the Back to Basics teaching movement. (The Back to Basics teaching movement is a change in teaching style that started in the 1970s when students were scoring poorly on standardized tests and exploring too many electives. This movement wanted to focus students on reading, writing and arithmetic and intensify the curriculum.)
The early 2000s saw a surge in different types of educational games, especially those designed for the younger learner. Many of these games were not computer-based but took on the model of other traditional gaming system both in the console and hand-held format. In 1999, LeapFrog Enterprises introduced the LeapPad, which combined an interactive book with a cartridge and allowed kids to play games and interact with a paper-based book. Based on the popularity of traditional hand-held gaming systems like Nintendo's Game Boy, they also introduced their hand-held gaming system called the Leapster in 2003. This system was cartridge-based and integrated arcade–style games with educational content.
- Brain fitness
- Business game
- Business simulation game
- Educational video game
- Games and learning
- Game with a purpose
- Games for Change
- Gamification of learning
- Global warming game
- Innovation game
- Intelligent tutoring system
- International Simulation and Gaming Association
- Learning objects
- Lego Serious Play
- Serious Games Showcase and Challenge
- Serious play
- State of Play (conference series)
- Technology and mental health issues
- Transreality gaming
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