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Serious Games in Europe

Reporting on a Serious Games Conference within CeBIT, a half-million person trade show in Hannover, Germany.

Last Friday I spoke at a one-day serious games event that was set within the massive CeBIT conference in Hannover.  It's impressive for me to see how serious games are starting to go mainstream. 

Many of the speakers demoed their games, and they covered a wide range of applications - from firefighting to cargo ship simulation to military simulation to my own demo of the Cisco Mind Share game

People came from France, Germany, Holland, and elsewhere throughout Europe.  Most of my serious game work has been in the US, and it's encouraging to see that Europe is keeping pace, if not exceeding the US in this area. 

Of course the grass is always greener - they were telling me how there seems to be so much more private industry investment in the US, but I was impressed with how the governments here support serious games (in the US it seems that military investment is by far the largest government contribution). 

 Many of the people attending were from schools and universities.  Serious games are a natural draw for them since they nicely straddle the gap between appealing to prospective students (the game part) and being easier to sell to their administration as a worthy thing to teach (the serious part). As long as it keeps this segment thriving, I'm happy for any reason behind it.

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