Spreading knowledge on SGs
The Serious Games Society (SGS) is the think tank where the future of games for learning can be discussed and put in practice. The SGS has been designed to bring together the cutting edge companies, institutions and individuals researching on and developing Serious Games. We focus on helping members in connecting and benefiting from the wide range of resources available in the Serious Games space.
SGS is the organization that inherits all the GALA achievements (that are described in this document). SGS will exploit these and other new tools in order to continue pursuing the GALA aims and scopes after the end of the project. Thus, the SGS website is the hub through which all the tools, services and information can be reached.
The International Journal of SGs publishes papers of significant and lasting value in all areas related to design, development, deployment and assessment of digital Serious Games. The journal encourages submission of manuscripts that enhance the theoretical foundations of game-based learning and SG design, show innovative technological solutions aimed to improve teaching and learning, provide user studies about deployment of SGs in educational or corporate training settings. Papers investigating business/product analysis and market penetration are also welcome.
IJSG is a quarterly S&T academic journal with triple anonymous reviews. IJSG has an ISBN and is already indexed by organizations such as Google Scholar. Three regular issues (five papers + one editorial each one) have already been published in 2014, on schedule.
The Games and Learning Alliance (GALA) International Conference is dedicated to the study and application of serious games. The conference aims at bringing together researchers, developers, practitioners and stakeholders. The goal is to share the state of the art of research and market, analysing the most significant trends and discussing visions on the future of serious games. Industrial involvement is targeted, also through an exhibition.
Conference proceedings have been published by Elsevier Proceedia (year 1) and Springer LNCS (year 2 and 3, in press). Next GALA Conference is planned to be in Rome in December 2015.
The Roadmap on Serious Games aims at identifying drivers and barriers as well as how to overcome these in order to increase the quality and the deployment level of SGs in education and training.
SG analysis and design support
The SG Analysis Database (SGA-DB) is a structured, searchable and machine-readable knowledge environment for Serious Game studies. Four main knowledge areas are covered for each SG: description/classification, learning environment, analysis of game components (e.g., UI, rules, goals, entity manipulation, and assessment) & architecture, context & analysis.
The Catalogue of web services for SGs. A catalogue that provides links, descriptions and interfaces of web services (SOAP or RESTful) usable to develop Serious Games following the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) paradigm.
The Learning Mechanics-Game Mechanics (LM-GM) is a model for supporting SG analysis and design by allowing reflection on the various pedagogical and game elements in a SG. Designers and analysts can exploit a set of predefined mechanics to draw the LM-GM map for a game, to identify and highlight its main pedagogical and entertainment features, and their interrelations. The tool may be useful also for teachers deploying a game in educational settings.
Gleaner is a framework for working with learning analytics in SGs. A reference implementation is available in eAdventure.
The Serious Games Reusability Point of Reference (SGREF) supports identification of reusable SG assets and their reuse within SG communities and beyond. To facilitate reuse, SGREF manages collections of references to reusable SG assets and a repository with SG assets uploaded by users. The reference-based approach has been adopted to stimulate availability of resources, even if they are not open source.
The SG evaluation framework (SG-EF) is a systematic representation of the factors that might concur to determine the learning impact of SGs. The model encompasses factors related to the player, to the context where the game is played, to the game itself and to the learning goals and expected outcomes. The framework is appropriate for games with different purpose (e.g., learning, training, awareness raising) and topic (e.g., management, STEM, humanities, health, safety, social awareness).
The game evaluation toolkit has been developed as well, which is a card game for an efficient and user-friendly deployment of the SG-EF.
Five Living Labs are now well established and will continue to be in operation after the closing of the GaLA project. Where as the node in Paris focus on ideation and innovation, with a very high company participation, the nodes in Genoa (elementary education, language) and Madrid (higher education, medicine) mainly focus on testing and evaluation of games. The nodes in Coventry (health) and Bremen (manufacturing and logistic) cover both the ideation space as well as the development, testing and evaluation space.
Blog and community
The Serious Games Blog. A blog on all aspects related to SGs: technology, applications, business, dssemination of events. Weekly updated by the GaLA partners since late 2011. It is Included in the OnlineColleges.net ranking of the 20 Top Blogs on Game-based learning.
The Serious Games Academy. A social network for people (typically teachers, academicians and students) interested in the latest papers, innovative research projects, inspiring videos, upcoming conferences and events, and interesting courses related to serious gaming.
The Serious Games Marketplace. An online meeting point for all SG interested stakeholders (researchers, SG developers, SG end-users in corporate settings), with a particular attention to the market. It is possible to advertise and promote SG products and services, offering job opportunities and internships, recruit candidates and getting the latest reports about the general extent and circumstances of SG effectiveness.
Learning on and with SGs
The GaLA Summer School is a one week course dedicated to SG theory, design, development and deployment in context. Two editions have been realized in Graz, Austria, 2013, and in Pori, Finland, 2014. A new edition is planned for 2015.
The Framework for a Master in SGs Curriculum. A curriculum framework for high (Masters) level training and education provision in the field of Serious Games in order to help grow the European market by ensuring a supply of able and competent Serious Games professionals.
The Serious Games Design tutorial. A presentation to introduce learners to the design of educational serious games and to allow learners to be able to prepare a proper document design for an educational serious game, given a set of specifications.
The gamification of higher education. The experience and lessons learned of a short course on promotion of entrepreneurship in ICT engineering conducted by GaLA partners.