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date: 12 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Serious games are designed to entertain and educate players, and to promote behavioral change. This chapter reviews characterizations of serious games and the theoretical perspectives, most notably Social Cognitive Theory, that have been used to account for their effects, and game elements such as identity, immersion, and interactivity. It also surveys the diverse areas in which serious games have been used, such as health, education, civic engagement, and advertising. It concludes by identifying future directions for serious game design research and development that will promote transfer of skills and content from the game to the real world, including debriefing and explication of players’ behaviors and cognitive skills while playing.

Keywords: challenge, debriefing, feedback, identity, immersion, interactivity, serious games, simulations

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