Sunday, September 19, 2004

Serious Games Summit

Have you heard about the Serious Games Initiative? It focuses on uses for games in exploring management and leadership challenges facing the public sector. Part of its overall charter is to help forge productive links between the electronic game industry and projects involving the use of games in education, training, health, and public policy.

I have followed the work of the Initiative with great interest for years. This week, it sponsored a Games for Health conference in Madison, WI. Next month, it will host the Serious Games Summit to be held in Washington on October 18 and 19. The Summit's agenda is fascinating and is worth a look.

As I review the upcoming summit's agenday, however, I couldn't help but notice the preponderence of defence/war/military oriented topics. Furthermore, many of the "experts" are either military personnel, or game developers that serve as their contractors. It is not unusual for the Initiative to acknowledge the work of war simulations and military gaming, but this conference seems to mark a more pronounced departure from the topics of health, education and public policy.


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