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Societal impact of a serious game on raising public awareness

Rebolledo-Mendez, G., Avramides, K., de Freitas, S. and Memarzia, K. (2009) Societal impact of a serious game on raising public awareness. In: Proceedings of the 2009 ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Video Games, Sandbox'09, 3 - 7 August, New Orleans, Louisiana pp. 15-22.

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Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1581073.1581076
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Abstract

This paper presents an evaluation of the societal impact of a simulation-based Serious Game. FloodSim was developed with the aim of raising awareness of issues surrounding flooding policy and citizen engagement in the UK. The game was played by a large number of users (N=25,701) in a period of 4 weeks. Quantitative and qualitative analyses (on a reduced data set) were carried out in order to explore the impact of FloodSim play in raising the general public awareness around flooding in the UK. The results suggest FloodSim was hugely successful in generating general public interest and there was evidence that (a) FloodSim increased awareness at a basic level and (b) that despite the simplicity of the simulation, players perceived FloodSim to be an accurate source of information about flood risk and prevention. This suggests that serious games such as FloodSim have potential to engage the public and raise awareness of societal issues. However, FloodSim only raised awareness at a basic level. It is suggested that more needs to be done to endow serious games with pedagogical principles and more care should be given to the accuracy of the information they convey. The appropriateness of games as an educational medium for raising awareness of complex, real-life issues should also be carefully considered. This study throws some light on the potential of simulation-based Serious Games to offer experiential learning, engage users with serious topics while raising public awareness and understanding of social issues such as flooding and related policymaking. Future research is outlined consisting of identifying the problems and challenges in designing and developing serious games while considering pedagogical principles.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Publisher: ACM
Copyright: © 2009 ACM
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/27767
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