ElianeÃ‚Â writes a great post estimating the size of the Serious Games Market, building on the overall PriceWaterhouseCoopers report that seemed to indicate that the Global Video Game Market is Set to Explode.
“The overall gaming audience continues to expand and become somewhat more female and older than in the past thanks to casual games and games becoming an “important part of culture” — which in my view would embed the Serious Games segment.”
“Whereas the military was one of the first customers of Serious Games, it has been joined by a long line of users, including other government agencies, healthcare providers, schools (both K‑12 and universities) and Fortune 500 companies (for team building, leadership training, sales training and product education, among others).”
“This is my conservative estimate: the Serious Games market would be ranging between $200 — 400 million per year only in US, in 2007. ”
“There is now an emergent supply chain for Corporate Serious Games, with a number of corporations taking the first steps and commissioning Serious Games development, which could easily make available additional $ 400 — 600 million per year. The same applies to Healthcare providers (e.g., training for surgery, for emergency medical response, and for managing surgical teams), bringing the overall figure for the Serious Games market close to $ 1.5 billion in 2008.”
We have no doubt that “serious” brain training programs (with more evidence behind than Nintendo Brain Age for cognitive training) will be an important component of this trend. We have dealt before with questions such asÃ‚Â why are so many brain fitness programs appearing now?Ã‚Â and why are computer programs better than paper-based ones.
These areÃ‚Â some of the design elements for serious games to trainÃ‚Â cognitive skillsÃ‚Â that we outlined at the Serious Games SummitÃ‚Â last year:
Measure aÃ‚Â clear objective
Assess and Train a bottleneck
Design for Cross-trainingÃ‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â
- Think Exercise, more than Games: we are talking about Individualized Programs with maximum Stretching practice
- Ensure Compliance: Reward game at the end of the session, sometimes supplemented with coaching for kids and metrics for adults.Ã‚Â
In short: very interesting times, and a growing “serious games” market. We will see how we can use gaming technologies to exercise and improve more and more cognitive skills and brain areas!