Lord Drayson, Britain's minister of state for Science and Innovation appointed in October, visited the Serious Games Institute to learn about the center's work in educational gaming technology, commenting that developments there will have "real impact in our everyday lives over the next few years."
Opened in 2007, the Institute researches and exhibits serious gaming technology designed to advance the traditional use of electronic games beyond entertainment. It is based on Coventry University Technology Park and is funded by Advantage West Midlands and Coventry University Enterprises.
Lord Drayson toured the facility and learned about the use of virtual worlds and simulation games to train doctors and clinicians variety of applications including triage and serious injury trauma.
He described the projects at the Institute as inspiration and crucial, commenting, "They will have real impact in our everyday lives over the next few years."
He continues, "There are exciting new businesses in this field. Here is a sector that is growing fast despite the downturn and offers great job opportunities for physics and maths graduates."
The Institute's director David Wortley noted that there is still a long way to go with development and research for serious games applications in the UK, but is confident that the region will follow Japan in leading development in the area.
"Games have always been used throughout history as an education tool; the only difference today is the emerging technologies used in delivering these learning experiences," says Wortley. "There is a perception that computer games and virtual worlds have negative social implications, but as Lord Drayson has seen today there are many positive applications that can deliver genuine solutions to real social and economic issues."