PlayMancer: Games for Health with Accessibility in Mind

E. Kalapanidas, C. Davarakis, F. Fernandez Aranda, S. Jiménez-Murcia, O. Kocsis, T. Ganchev, H. Kaufmann, T. Lam, D. Konstantas:
"PlayMancer: Games for Health with Accessibility in Mind";
Communications&Strategies,73(2009), S. 105 - 120.

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Abstract:


The term Serious Games has been used to describe computer and video
games used as educational technology or as a vehicle for presenting or promoting a point
of view. Serious games can be of any genre and many of them can be considered a kind
of edutainment. Serious games are intended to provide an engaging, self-reinforcing
context in which to motivate and educate the players towards knowledgeable processes,
including business operations, training, marketing and advertisement. Serious games can
be compelling, educative, provocative, disruptive and inspirational. The potential of games
for entertainment and learning has been demonstrated thoroughly from both research and
market. Unfortunately, the investments committed to entertainment dwarf what is
committed for more serious purposes. In this feature, we will argue that the motives,
incentives and expectations of the computer game industry differ from one cultural and
economic environment to another. As the game industry is dominated by US companies,
computer game products are targeting user groups mostly informed by the marketing
departments of those companies. This process creates marginalised user groups and
game types that are not addressed effectively by the computer game market. Accessible
games and games for health comprise this underdeveloped niche. Research project
PlayMancer is a multi-partner effort to tackle both of those issues in a coherent way.