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Serious Games FAQ

Why Participate?

  • As a student, you receive credit towards your degree through the unit FOBE200, develop skills to solve tomorrow's business challenges, and gain valuable workplace skills
  • You will have the opportunity to put your learning into action by developing a solution to a real-world business problem. You will also benefit from the ideas and knowledge of your peers, and receive guidance from your mentor
  • Express and refine your innovative ideas, and further develop soft skills essential for the business world. Such as problem solving, teamwork, and project management by participation in the Serious Games program
  • Add value to your learning at university and help to solve a real world business problem in a fun way
  • Learn the latest way of innovative thinking in the business world
  • Be mentored by senior business executive to solve a real business problem as a team
  • Develop networks with business professionals and students
  • Be involved in a project that will be an invaluable addition to your resume when you graduate

How Does it Work?

During the semester the students selected for this experience will get their hands dirty learning:

  • What is a serious game
  • Why are companies getting serious about games
  • How to identify good applications for serious games
  • What makes a great game
  • The elements of a game that are fun
  • Five quick case studies on games we all know and love
  • How to design a great serious game
  • User centric design techniques
  • Rapid prototype training


  • Work completed on Intersective Serious Games as part of the gamification project will be worth 70% of the assessment mark. It will be assessed by Macquarie University Lecturers
  • Peer Assessments to be completed to identify individual contributions to the group project
  • A Reflection Assignment which is worth 30% of the assessment mark

Do I develop a game?

You will in fact be working in a team to build a game or simulation. However what you'll build is a proof-of-concept, versus a full blown commercial product.
In most cases this will be done using:

  • Everyday objects (eg typical game pieces, Lego, blocks, etc)
  • Boards/paper/cards to represent rules, actions, information
  • A computer running excel or a simulation package to track outcomes or to drive more complex mechanics

If the vision for the final product is a fully digital experience, you'll need to explain what that looks like and what the benefits of the digital version will be in their final presentation.

Will I be working in a group?

Yes, as a group of students with a mentor from industry. The way in which you will work as a team to develop the game is very similar to the way in which high performance corporate teams work to deliver projects. You will be guided in how to do this and the skills you learn will be very useful on the job after you graduate.

Your game or simulation will be about solving a business problem, so you'll also gain an in-depth understanding of a specific area of business, as chosen by your team in conjunction with your industry mentor.

What is the mobile app game?

The mobile app game is both a serious game and a simulation. It is 'played' using cards, some objects and an excel spreadsheet. You'll be given the objectives, rules and components of the game, but some aspects of it will be incomplete. Your team will need to figure out how to finish building the game to achieve the objectives. It's a hands on exercise where there are some 'right/wrong' answers and some design choices that will be up to your team.

What are some examples of what might be in the Idea Bank?

The Idea Bank deliverable is a set of ideas your team develops. It involves defining and qualifying valuable problems that can be solved with games and simulations.

Students post their gamification ideas on the Idea Zone site and comment on the merits/demerits of each, as a first stage to choose from a pool of ideas that will subsequently develop into a gamified simulation. 

Eg a social energy game app that encourages utility customers and friends in their social network to engage and compete with each other about their energy use with points, badges and leader boards.

What is a prototype?

A prototype is a demonstration of how the teams envision their game/simulation ideas. This can be demonstrated using PowerPoint slides, optionally supported by a board game, a mock-up of a website, short video, paper prototype, etc.


What is a simulation/gamified service?


  1. Kudos Badges for IBM Connections is a flexible gamification engine for IBM Connections to improve their user engagement.
  2. Data security simulation (by PlayGen) brings a James Bond 007 style espionage storyline to help communicate the principles of anti-money laundering and data security in an entertaining format.
  3. 'MeTycoon' is an online experience that encourages teenagers to proactively explore career opportunities, combining videos of real people doing real jobs within a game world. MeTycoon has a system that rewards players for watching interviews with professionals in a variety of careers. Watching these interviews builds skill points (which increases a player's 'success' in a chosen career), can unlock money (to be spent on items that increase player's skill points or overall happiness) and of course, provides interesting insight into a variety of careers. Naturally, it is rewarding to both learn about these careers and to watch players' in-game skill levels grow. The game ends upon a player's retirement, and players 'win' in a number of ways; the game will rank them based on a number of different criteria – happiness, money, items, jobs held, and so on.
  4. EVOKE social network game is to help empower people all over the world to come up with creative solutions to our most urgent social problems
  5. McDonalds video game is designed to provide the user with an understanding of the complex process one must learn to manage: from the creation of pastures to the slaughter, from the restaurant management to the branding.
  6. KHAN Academy has built gamification into their education platform to encourage students to compete to learn more.