About Serious Games:
Serious Games are computergames, which are intended to provide knowledge to the player. The entertainment value is of particular importance, because the player shouldn`t notice that he is learning. Thats exactly the most important requirement for a successful serious game:
Context and content of the game must be connected to each other, that the user feels as a player and not as a learner.
In addition, there are more conditions for a successful Serious Game:
- quality of the technical functionality- intuitive game operation
- game design – presentation of the game
- visual und acoustical qualitiy of the game
- good storyline
- multiplayer function
Why using Serious Games in Education?
“As children we learn to play, and as we grow up, we play to learn”
Michael and Chen (Michael & Chen, op. 2006)
Can we always use Serious Games in Education?
No we cannot as Kurt Squire states in (Squire, 2005) where he writes, that using Civilization III in a history classroom works well for “those students for whom a traditional education is simply not working” and “Students who do well in the classroom, however, are more reluctant to view gaming as a legitimate learning tool and experience much more frustration when playing the game”.
But citing Gee who says that “while e-learning has a reputation for being dull and ineffective, games have developed a reputation for being fun, engaging, and immersive, requiring deep thinking and complex problem solving.” (Gee, 2003)
Why serious gaming is the suitable technology for flood management?
Talking about using Serious Games in flood management, we first have to find out, what outcomes have to be reached when teaching or educating people in the field of flood management.
- Having many input components: As stated in (Institution of civil engeneering (ICE), 2004) “civil engineering is a key skill without which many of the component parts of flood risk management cannot be delivered” and “the nature of the training of civil engineers (both analysis and synthesis) gives them skills in integrating projects requiring many input components”.
- Serious Games provide an easy way to work in teams and train to collaborate. This is also important in FRM when enduring timely provision of personnel and resources.
- Game based learning is the only effective possibility to accomplish constructivism learning as only then they can manage learning by experimenting with different scenarios, which is not possible in real world.
- Learning without frontiers: Adopting best working practices from professionals or students all around the world by playing the same game at the same time could only be achieved online and with the help of computers. This is also true for peer learning over large distances.
- As the report (Institution of civil engineering (ICE), 2004) tells us that in the U.K. there are many problems with not fully qualified or even to less graduated engineers which leads to bad quality in the U.K. construction industry: “Too few people are being trained to replace the ageing skilled workforce, and too few are acquiring the technical and managerial skills required to get full value from new techniques and technologies.” Also in that point Game-based learning as alternative learning methods for those digital natives or students who have difficulties in formal learning could be a solution.
- In U.K. the “The relatively high cost of engineering education provision was reflected in the 2003 Higher Education Funding Council funding review consultation, which suggested a 7.4% reduction in the unit of resource for engineering courses.” (Institution of civil engeneering (ICE), 2004) Serious Games could lower the costs as they can be cheap as long as many dissemination paths are opened.