With the 2006 inaugural behind them, the Serious Games Showcase & Challenge IPT committee began to pinpoint the challenges they recognized in that first year and address them for the 2007 Challenge. The year was focused on removing restrictions that seemed to be hampering more than helping the Challenge.
First, the committee decided that in order to encourage more participation in the SGS&C, they should no longer keep in place restrictions on company size. It made sense to seek game submissions for all who were interested, and the size of the organization or business should not be a determining factor of accepting a submission.
They also halted financial restrictions, determining that this too, was prohibitive for seeking the best available submissions in the marketplace, and shouldn’t have any bearing on what individual or group should be able to take care in SGS&C.
And, in a significant move that helped to eventually grow the Serious Games Showcase & Challenge, the IPT committee decided that although many great games were being developed and used for military applications, they wanted to deemphasize that, and work to encourage participation from game developers not in the military training space.
In the second year, the SGS&C developed three different categories to ensure a level playing field amongst all those who participated: students, small business and large business. It was a bold and important move in helping to solidify the credibility of the SGS&C by giving developers the opportunity to compete in the Challenge using the fairest parameters and comparisons.
As the committee worked to improve the overall experience, and seek feedback from the winners from the previous year, they found that, although they were rewarding finalists with a variety of cash prices, the winners shared it was not the cash awards that were the primary incentives for their participation in the Challenge. This was an important realization for the committee as the Challenge matured, and as such this was the first year there were no cash prizes for the winners. Instead it was the opportunity for exposure that was emphasized as the benefit for the entrants.
And for this reason, the location of the SGS&C became one of the most important pieces of the promotion, and why there was a continued push by the executive leaders of the SGS&C IPT to house the Challenge finalists at I/ITSEC, award the winners there and allow attendees to play the game.
Finally, the committee felt it was important to emphasize the difference between Serious Games and Sims: games designed for a primary purpose other than pure entertainment versus video games that simulate an activity like flying an aircraft or playing a sport.
2007 Serious Games & Showcase Challenge At-A-Glance
9 finalists, 3 Honorable Mentions
Best Serious Game: Tactical Iraqi by Tactical Language Training
People’s Choice: Vigilance by Harrington Group
Tactical Iraqi by Tactical Language Training
Vigilance by the Harrington Group
AH-64D Apache Graphical Aviator Enhancer (G.A.M.E.) by LSI
HuntIR by Camber
Peacemaker by Impact Games
Ready to Work by Caspian Learning
Response Ready by Distil
Saving Adryanee by Southern Illinois University
Tactical Combat Casualty Care by ECS
Critical Thinking Training by Novonics
Every Soldier a Sensor by iMedia
JTAC Strike by Energid