Games are structured contexts where players have clear objectives, with victory as the end goal. In a game, players must solve problems, overcome challenges and face opponents (real or game characters) but always respecting a clearly-defined set of rules. Failure to follow these rules implies a punishment or penalty. Games can involve one player acting alone, two or more players acting cooperatively, or players or teams of players competing between themselves.
Computer games are played through a computer, on a standalone or networked form. Games are highly interactive products that keep the player in a state of focused motivation, or “flow” as defined by Csikszentmihalyi. The player is always on the edge of his/her abilities, with the permanent feeling that he/she is about to reach the goal, about to go to the next level.
This motivates the player to try, to give his/her best and to evolve. Serious Games are not designed for the sole purpose of entertainment but rather with training, educational, marketing or awareness raising objectives. These games are designed with the main goal of creating a skill development context for the player while retaining the same focused motivation context of “fun” games.
The player must perform tasks, analyze processes and draw conclusions in order to increase his/her productivity and knowledge in the framework of the game positive and negative feedback, sometimes representing risks or a series of events that, in real life, would be negative or even fatal. This type of games is used in numerous areas like engineering, health, education, defense, military, emergency management, and scientific exploration, among many others.