Today's main feature written for Gamasutra sister site Serious Games Source
, on games created for training, health, government, military, educational and other uses, concerns a discussion of games aimed at education and community activism brought up at the 2006 Games For Change Conference.
The following extract, which was taken from a presentation at the 2006 Games For Change Annual Conference during which a pair of serious games, introduces the idea behind epistemic games, which include those serious games that allow players to take on roles of urban planners, journalists, and other professionals.
"Subject matter experts do this every day within their practicums, or fields of study. In the beginning, a person might reflect upon an action and talk about it with a peer. Over time, the person gains the knowledge to have reflection-in-action, or thinking that reshapes action during the action, and does not have to consult a peer. Epistemic games recreate the ways experts think.
To create an epistemic game, one would need to understand the structure of the practicum to simulate it. A subject matter expert would be the best person to consult. Of course, there might be some professions with no practicums. For instance, there aren't good existing models to build a game about teacher education."
You can now read the full Serious Games Source feature on the subject
, including more the presentation at the recent conference, (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).