Game Development Reference
Writing for Serious Games
Sande Chen and Anne Toole
Through Writers Cabal, we have been fortunate enough to participate in projects
that fall into the category of serious games. While serious games do not get as much
attention as flashy, next-gen titles, they have the potential to integrate video game
playing into every facet of society. From university students to health professionals
to corporate CEOs to activists, all may use serious games to improve education and
productivity or to encourage societal change.
Serious games are meant to have real-life impact. For this reason, writing for
serious games can be a rewarding experience.
Our purpose here is not to explain serious games or their markets in depth. If you
are interested in learning more about these aspects of serious games, we encourage
you to read the topic Serious Games: Games That Educate, Train, and Inform ,by
David Michael and Sande Chen.
In this chapter, we will explain briefly what we mean by the term “serious games,”
and we will discuss the challenges involved in writing for serious games. We conclude
with a case study involving our experiences working on Futur-E-Scape's educational
massively multiplayer online game (MMOG), Physics Adventures in Space-Time ,or
15.2 Introduction to Serious Games
While many serious games are simulations, serious games can be of any game genre
or hybrid and on any subject. Therefore, all the skills described in the other chap-
ters pertain to serious games. Additionally, serious games may require skills that are
pedagogical, instructional, and/or artistic in nature.