Since the initiation of the NGInfra programme in 2004, the developments in serious gaming have been staggering. An increasing number of NGInfra partners have come to realise that serious gaming has much to offer for the understanding of infrastructures as well as for their design, management, decision-making and training.
NGInfra recently approved the ambitious research project "Serious Gaming for Infrastructure Design, Management and Training" (2008-2012). This project draws upon the success of the previous NGInfra Serious Gaming initiatives in the Complexity and Dissemination programs (2004-2008).
Serious gaming involves the use of concepts and technologies derived from (computer) entertainment games for non-entertainment purposes such as for research, policy and decision-making, training and learning.
Serious gaming often combines analogue techniques (pen and paper) and social interaction with state of the art game and simulation technology (immersive 3D virtual game worlds).
Infrastructures, such as main ports and utilities, can be characterized as complex (multi-actor) systems (see the NGI complex program). The behavior of complex infrastructures, such as main ports and utilities, can be modeled and simulated in various ways for decision-making or research.
Serious gaming is the only method where real people – as actors or stakeholders - can be an intrinsic part of a digital and/or analogue model. Games allow people to play with complex computer models, interact with each other and experience (r)evolutionary changes.
This can be done before a decision or policy has been implemented and without damaging effects to the outside world. This has great benefits for the understanding and management of infrastructures.
Playing with infrastructures in serious games has great value for the dissemination of academic and applied research, for (PhD) education and (post academic) training.
The NGI Serious Gaming initiative is user-driven and includes:
NGInfra has its own island in Second Life: Nextinfra Island. It is open to all visitors. NGInfra partners can use it for more advanced purposes like virtual meetings and prototyping. Please contact Harald Warmelink for more information or, if you already use Second Life, visit Nextinfra directly!
For more information: click here.