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Over the last few years during my time as the Director of the Serious Games Institute and now as a freelance consultant I have been and still am involved in the use of Serious Games for Health Applications in important areas such as Ageing Society, Staff Training, Health Education and Behaviours and Awareness. More recently, I have shifted my focus away from formal serious games to the process of Gamification and this short article seeks to explain my experiences and my belief that it will be Gamification which has the most significant impact on public health issues in the future.
Serious Games are applications which are designed by specialists for use by the target population. They require multi-disciplinary specialist teams who not only understand the subject matter but can also create a game experience which engages people and is effective in delivering the intended outcomes. In general, serious games are developed by people not affected by a health issue to be use used by people with a need related to the health issue. They usually are difficult to personalise to the individual and the cost of development of a serious game can be quite high. As time goes by, developments in technology can limit the attractiveness and/or effectiveness of the games.