Serious Games Competition

The GALA2022 Serious Games Competition aims to celebrate the best digital games for learning in the world. Organized by the Games and Learning Alliance conference as a friendly game contest, the awards are based on an analysis of the games by experts of the Serious Games.

Competition theme

This year, the special theme of the competition is Serious Games which supports literacy or numeracy skills. We are looking for Serious Games that can showcase and support inclusive learning, particularly in the areas of literacy and numeracy skills. In the era of misinformation and fake news, we also encourage submissions that address critical reading skills and critical thinking.

The competition is not limited only to literacy and numeracy themes, but submissions in line with other topics relevant to the GALA Conference are also welcome.

Submissions

We call for submissions from different parts of the world. Submissions are now closed.

The award ceremony took place on November 30th at 7pm EET.

Awards

The jury, composed of established Serious Game designers and researchers will review the games. The best Serious Games will be awarded in the following categories:

  • Academy: Serious Games that have been designed and produced in a scientific environment
  • Business:  Serious Games that have been designed and produced by a professional game studio
  • Student: Serious Games that have been designed and produced by student(s)

The winners will be invited to present their Serious Games at the GALA Exhibition at Tampere organized during the conference.

Shortlisted games

Academic FonemiVives Hogeschool Brugge
MediaWatch (WINNER)Tampere University (Game-based learning group) and University of Helsinki (Department of geosciences and geography), Finland
The magic cauldronLIUM, Computer Science Laboratory of Le Mans Université, France
The Gram OrthodysseyUniversity for Teacher Education of Fribourg, Research Unit : Didalang
StudentNumbers and Letters (WINNER)Ulster University UK, California State University, Fresno USA
NajaMedia Innovation & Game Research, Aalborg University
Move and Learn with RatouUniversité du Québec à Chicoutimi
Tower LearnAdvanced Community Information Systems, Chair of Computer Science 5, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
BusinessAgents of Influence (WINNER)Alterea Inc., United States
DialogueTrainerDialogueTrainer
pixeludo.comPixeludo

Contact person

Dr Vanissa Wanick
v.w.vieira@soton.ac.uk

Showcasing the games at the GALA conference

This year’s GALA Exhibition will take place at PAIDIA space, a living lab of play, in the Nokia Arena located near Tampere University’s City centre campus. This important event will be open to the researchers and companies present at the GALA conference.

Accepted presentations in the Game Exhibition event are free. Read more about fees and costs.

Jury

Pedro Beça, University of Aveiro, Department of Communication and Art
Chella Ramanan, UK 3-Fold Games
Guilherme Xavier, PUC-Rio
Mata Haggis-Burridge, Breda University of Applied Sciences
Dr Iain Donald, Abertay University
Abbott, Daisy, Glasgow School of Art
Katerina Tsarava, UNI TÜBINGEN
Nadja Zaric, RWTH Aachen University
Dr Matheus Cezarotto, Learning Games Lab, New Mexico State University
Mariana Rocha, Technological University Dublin
Ju-May, Wen, National United University, Taiwan
Dr Christopher Buckingham, University of Southampton
Dr Nooralisa Mohd Tuah, University Malaysia Sabah
Chiara Eva Catalano, IMATI Institute, Genova, Italy
Dr ing. S.C.J. (Sander) Bakkes, Utrecht University
Nour El Mawas, Université Lille, France
Aous Karoui, MINDFUL HOUSE SAS
Dr Marianthi Grizioti, Educational Technology Lab, University of Athens, Greece
Mattia Fortunati, CNR IMATI
Valentin Briukhanov, Lead Game Designer at CodeCombat

Images from the competition ceremony

Academic Winner – MediaWatch: Graph manipulators

Manipulation of graphs is one powerful way that is used to persuade people. On the other hand, people with low graph literacy can accidentally create misleading graphs leading to the spread of misinformation. The main aim of the MediaWatch game is to support players’ graph reading skills and help players to build resistance against commonly used graph manipulation techniques (increase the ability to read and interpret misleading graphs). Simultaneously, the game support abilities to create well-formed graphs and provides information about contemporary societal and environmental issues. The game is targeted at adolescents, and the primary use context is secondary and upper secondary schools. Our recent assessment study (n = 404) revealed that most of the students could not interpret misleading graphs and were easily misled. As misleading graphs are not included in the curriculum, at least in Finland, there is a huge need for activating learning materials on this topic.

Access the game here: https://webpages.tuni.fi/gamelab/gala/mediawatch/

Student winner: Numbers and Letters

Numbers and Letters is an immersive virtual reality game for developing numeracy and literacy skills. The game is suitable for all ages able to use virtual reality . The Numbers game focuses on developing flexible mathematical thinking skills through the use of four basic mathematical operators and adaptive strategies. Players can explore the role of numerical relations and operators in mathematical problem solving. This is achieved in the game through the exploration of number combinations with a range of operators (subtraction, addition, multiplication and division). The game aims to develop mathematical proficiency through exploration of different problem-solving strategies based on the understanding of key concepts. The game has progressive difficulty modes depending on player ability. The Letters game helps the player improve their literacy skills and become better at spelling by completing words by finding the missing letter.

Business winner: Agents of Influence

Agents of Influence (AoI) is a spy-themed media literacy video game designed that teaches teenagers (target age: 13-15 yrs) to recognize and combat misinformation in their daily lives. When a mysterious organization called Harbinger starts spreading misinformation at your school, you and your friends form the Agents of Influence, a secret student spy group dedicated to defeating Harbinger. Through narrative decisions and mini-games you uncover Harbinger’s schemes, find the truth in a web of lies, and use your skills to save the school. The game is designed flexibly for use in classrooms, libraries, and after-school programs, or for fun at home. It was created using Unity and is web-based. We have three explicit learning goals: 1. Students improve ability to accurately evaluate credibility of digital information, 2. Students increase confidence in recognizing and evaluating digital misinformation, and 3. Students increase perception of importance of carefully evaluating digital information.