22The Utility of Games for Society, Business, and Politics: A Frame-reflective Discourse Analysis

Igor Mayer, Harald Warmelink, and Qiqi Zhou

22.1 Introduction

The growing interest in the utilization of games for society, business, and politics—now commonly referred to as serious games (SG)—entails a growing need to understand the effects of what we are doing and promoting, out of professional and scientific curiosity as well as responsibility and accountability. There are many alternative terms for SG, as shown in Table 22.1 An emerging discipline that advocates the use of games for learning or to repair a broken reality (McGonigal 2012) has a responsibility to reflect critically on the short- and long-term value and structural consequences of the tools they are developing, promoting, and using, especially when vulnerable groups in society are involved, such as children, patients, or immigrants. Furthermore, “users” (sponsors, clients, educators, players) are becoming more exposed to, and familiar with, SG. They have the right to know what they are actually buying, using, or playing, what the games are for and what the effects or consequences of the application of SG and gamification are. We expect that the many stakeholders involved in SG will become more demanding, critical, and skeptical. Moreover, when institutional stakeholders—policymakers of many kinds—start to promote SG as a vehicle for economic competitiveness, as contributing to some of the grand challenges, for example, ...

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