Interactive Media Systems, TU Vienna

PlayMancer: Games for Health with Accessibility in Mind

By Elias Kalapanidas, Costas Davarakis, Fernando Fernandez Aranda, Susanna Jiménez-Murcia, Otilia Kocsis, Todor Ganchev, Hannes Kaufmann, Tony Lam, and Dimitri Konstantas


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.


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), 105 - 120.


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