Process, Practice and Policy
Edited by Colette Henry and Anne de Bruin
Chapter 8: The Emergence of the Serious Game Industry: To Play or Not to Play
Patricia G. Greene* INTRODUCTION How incredible would it be for a professor to say ‘Pull out your laptops, load up ‘Investhor: Lord of Wall Street’, and begin your midterm?’ (Greene, 2009) The study of emerging industries from a socio-economic platform has been conducted through an analysis of a variety of innovations in spaces such as cochlear implants (Van de Ven and Garud, 1989, 1993), American film (Mezias and Kuperman, 2001), windsurfing, skateboarding and snowboarding (Shah, 2000), and recycling in the United States (Lounsbury et al., 2003). These types of studies explore questions on topics such as the emergence of innovations, where and how individual businesses start and grow, how the markets are defined and developed, and what are the growth trajectories of the industries themselves. As a framework, this approach has the potential to help us better understand the phenomena of serious games, providing an industrial perspective to explore questions of definition, stakeholders, boundaries and markets. Advancing our understanding of serious games as an industry also contributes to building the body of knowledge around creative economies. Serious games can be technically classified as interactive media, and the creative industry is built on: ‘activities which have their origin in individual creativity, skill, and talent and which have the potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property’ (DCMS, 2001, p. 5). Much of our interest in creative economies is driven by our need to better understand economic development, in particular postmodern economies built on the...
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