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Awards and Certification from the International Serious Play Conference


On August 24, 2011, at the Serious Play Conference, I announced the following:

Best of Show Winner:



Gold Medal Winners:
  • Air Medic Sky One, University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands (Games for Health)
  • Aircraft Marshalling Virtual Trainer, Heartwood Inc. (Government/Military)
  • Gamestar Mechanic, E-Line Media (Education)
  • Motion Math HD, Motion Math (Consumer Game)
  • RoboMath, Project Whitecard Inc. (Education) [Serious Games Market Overview]

Susan Peterson, and her Silver Award Winning RiggleFish

Serious Game Leaders from left to right: (in green) SpaceChem's Zachary Barth; VRDC's Nelleke Van Wouwe; Air Medic Sky One's Corwin Bell

Award winners Jon Aleckson (WebCourseworks) and Jennifer Sclater (World Anti-Doping Agency)

A Filled Session with Gamestar Mechanic's Alan Gershenfeld

Engender Games Group Lab's Emergency Birth takes a Silver.


Silver Medal Winners:
  • Emergency Birth, Engender Games Group Lab – University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (Student Entry, Games for Good)* [Serious Games Market Overview]
  • Fate of the World, Red Redemption Ltd. (Games for Good)
  • McGraw-Hill Education Practice Marketing, McGraw-Hill Education International and Muzzy Lane SW (Education) [Serious Games Market Overview]
  • Play True Challenge, World Anti-Doping Agency (Games for Good)
  • RiggleFish, Texas A&M University (Education) [Serious Games Market Overview]
  • SpaceChem, Zachtronics Industries (Consumer Game)
  • Treadsylvania, New Mexico State University Learning Games Lab (At Home Learning)
  • VRDC (Virtual Remote Dome Controller),TNO Defense & Safety and VisionShiftStudios (Government/Military)

Bronze Medal Winners:
  • Devil’s Advocate, UCF Retro Lab (Student Entry, Government/Military)*
  • Distraction Dodger, Web Courseworks (Education)
  • Game for Science, CREO (At Home Learning)
  • International Racing Squirrels, Playniac (Consumer Game)
  • MiddWorld Online Language Roleplay Game, Middlebury Interactive Languages and Muzzy Lane SW (Education)
  • Waterkeeper, First Nations Education Steering Committee (Education)
  • Primaires à gauche, Le Monde (Games for Good)
  • Virulent, Morgridge Institute for Research (At Home Learning)

*The Serious Play Student Award was sponsored by Microsoft Corporation.


Of the nearly 100 international entries, 20 serious games were selected as finalists, and made available. Conference attendees were able to engage the sims and talk to the designers.

Commercial entries were also reviewed for Serious Play Certification, which assures that a serious game offers a high standard of performance.


The Serious Play 2011 Certification has been given to:
  • Agent Surefire - Breach Buster, MAVI Interactive
  • Aircraft Marshalling Virtual Trainer, Heartwood Inc.
  • Game for Science, CREO
  • Gamestar Mechanic, E-Line Media
  • History of Biology, Spongelab Interactive
  • MiddWorld Online Language Roleplay Game, Middlebury Interactive Languages
  • Quality Tycoon, TikGames, LLC
  • SmartGate the Game, IJsfontein Interactive Media
  • Waterkeeper, First Nations Education Steering Committee
  • Virtual Reality Dome Controller TNO Defense & Safety and VisionShiftStudios
Certified games are given Serious Play Certification and a 2011 Seal of Approval. Certification is valid for three years.

On a personal note:

In 1999, when I was a Gartner analyst, I wrote a research note called 'E-Learning Lessons from the Computer Games Market' (COM-09-7081). In it, I said:
Enterprises attempting to rigorously develop people 30 years old or younger will need to offer virtual business simulations as a significant part of their learning programs... Interactive environments that require problem solving are a mainstay of computer games, yet two computer games are particularly accurate models of the virtual business simulations that will be widely available to enterprises.
Roller Coaster Tycoon: In this best-selling game, players assume the role of designer and manager ofan expanding theme park. The game is easy to use and understand, with an emphasis on business issues such as customer satisfaction and variety. Expect this model to evolve to force greater long-termstrategic decisions.
Alpha Centauri: Imagine six market competitors aggressively vying for customer dollars. Some willpursue market share as fast as possible, others will choose to invest in technology or defend theircurrent base. Paranoia is always present; alliances are fragile. A change to the graphics and sounds ofAlpha Centauri (but not much else), might produce a perfect, albeit difficult to master, virtual businesssimulation.
(True, I have written a bit more about it since). But that time has arrived. I was amazed at how this vision, criticized by my peers and more than a few magazines of the time, has come true.

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