serious gaming

A serious game or applied game is a game designed for a primary purpose other than pure entertainment. The "serious" adjective is generally prepended to refer to video games used by industries like defense, education, scientific exploration, health care, emergency management, city planning, engineering, and politics.


Can games help us achieve a more social and collaborative society? In our Common play with us series, we aim to learn all about games.


Waag together with the Drenthe Archive built the interactive installation Sigismund in 2006, now in use as an educational escape room.


We played Mind the Gap - a role-play game, designed as a structure for dialogues which examine the gender gap.


Every day we practically examine how technology can be used to solve current social issues and challenges.


It was in 2005, that we could play a virtual game in the real world for the first time, by using a mobile phone.


PhD student Mike van Diest (SPRINT/UMCG research centre) has developed a game to help seniors improve their balance at home. Improved balance can prevent falls. On 15 February 2016, he graduated on his research called 'Developing an exergaming for unsupervised home-based balance training in older adults'. In his research, Mike used the 'Users as designers' method, developed by Waag.


The game Operation Sigismund teaches children about archiving and sends them on a journey through the basements of the Archive of Drenthe, where they unravel a mystery. After eight years of loyal duty, servicing hundreds of school classes, it was time the update the game experience.


Within the CHASING project, our Creative Care Lab develops a 'serious game' with Radboud University of Nijmegen and the Sint Maartenskliniek. CHASING stands for: CHAllenging Speech training In Neurological patients by interactive Gaming. The game aims to provide fun and effective training support for patients who are facing speech problems due to chronic neurological illness.



Sigismund II

Sigismund has been around since 2006 in developing a successful educational project at the archive of the province of Drenthe.


The latest research adventure of the Foundation Tijdgeest,, has won the Water innovation prize 2014. The project has been developed for Hoogheemraadschap Hollands Noorderkwartier and Waag earlier built the web application for the project.




The CHASING project investigated the potentials of web-based speech training for neurological patients.


The Dutch professional magazine 'Computers at School' (COS) has placed an evaluation of the educational game Monstermedia 2. This game gives study insight in the history of media and teaches them about the everyday use of media. The game is used at school to teach media literacy at the higest classes of primary school.


For her study at the University Utrecht (Social and Organisational Psychology), Laura Buijs researched the development of cognitive empathy at youngsters in a interactive visual installation for the COMMIT/Play programme. A research report of her internship is now available as pdf. This report is written in Dutch.


The Radboud University will start with the CHASING project, that develops speech training for neurological patients by interactive gaming.


Waag's developer Lodewijk Loos made a fun drawing teacher for children. With this game kids can draw the things they love, just by following the happy bug.


Super Hero Island was a concept educational game package. The island is an environment where the children have their own super hero, whom they develop by playing little games on the island.




Collage was a research project in which an application was developed that supports learning processes, acquiring new ideas and inspiration at work.



MonsterMedia 2

The media game MonsterMedia 2 was a make-over of the first successful MonsterMedia online game.


Waag works with partners from Denmark, Finland and Sweden in the project Express2Connect at Photobluff!, a 'story telling game' that aims to increase the social connectedness of older adults and their environment. This game is expected to be launched in the Appstore Fall 2012 and can be played on the iPad. The app has been developed in close contact with the users. They were involved in several co-creation sessions, that took place in the four participating countries. A number of living labs have worked together at Photobluff!. The third Living Lab Summer School, that was held in Helsinki from 20-24 August 2012, was a good opportunity to bring the game to the attention of the Living Lab community.


Trainee Jelmer der Maat developed a Kinect game for Waag that uses embodied learning. Kennisnet Innovation interviewed him and his supervisor Meia Wippoo about the project.




Creative Care Lab collaborated with the Universitair Medisch Centrum Groningen (UMCG) in the development of an exergame to train balance for elderly people to reduce the chances of falling.


In the Express to Connect project, the concept design and the technical implementation of the game prototypes is run by Waag. Taco van Dijk works at Waag as a back-end developer on the technology behind the E2C game. His team consists of concept developers, graphical designers, software developers and a sound designer.


In 2012 the project Game Research for Training and Education (GATE) was completed and the results were published. To inform and inspire policy makers and decision makers of various fields, we organized a GATE education meeting on Thursday, April 19 in cooperation with TNO and the HKU. As a representative from the Creative Learning Lab, I was responsible for hosting a master class. This meeting took place at the Faculty of Arts, Media and Technology at the HKU in Hilversum.


With the aid of location software (GPS) this educational programme brings math closer to the everyday reality of pupils.




In early 2008, the schools Pieter Nieuwland (Amsterdam), Via Nova (Utrecht), Vathorst (Amersfoort) will be piloting MobileMath, a first step into using mobile gaming for maths education in secondary education, developed by the Freudenthal Institute, Utrecht, and the Waag, Amsterdam.




Breinbril was a game developed with and for the University Museum in Utrecht.


The Archive of the province of Drenthe comes to life for children in primary schools.



The Island

The Island was a game-based adventure in which pupils participated in a trading game, online and on the streets, simultaneously in New York and Amsterdam.


Teylers Adventure was an online educational environment in Teyler Museum Haarlem.


Frequency 1550 was a mobile city game that used GPS and UMTS technology, to let pupils of the secondary schools actively learn about history instead of passively absorb knowledge.



City Ragas

For the Amsterdam-India Festival: Blended Cultures, Waag and Sarai have developed a mobile game and visual exchange called City Ragas.


Global Gincana explored the impact that multi-ethnic societies of Brazil and The Netherlands have on cultural themes such as music & dance, language, fashion, habits & rituals and design & art.


At the 2009 Adelaide Fringe festival, the Urban Game The Mystery of the Colonel's Ghost transformed the Adelaide streets into a treasure hunt playground.




SplitsZ was an educational game for pupils, teachers and parents about online citizenship. Aim was to learn all groups about media usage and thus create media literacy.


The Dabbawalla project researched whether a homecooked lunch could be an alternative to the traditional school lunches.




In 2009, the project Tijdgeest started, an educational cultural heritage project by Waag, Foundation Tijdgeest and PWN Waterleidingbedrijf Noord-Holland.



Games Atelier

Games Atelier was a joint project of four partners in Amsterdam to create a game environment for pupils and teachers.


Target of this project is to to make the history and surroundings of the fortifications of the the defense line accessible for new user groups in an attractive way.




MonsterMedia was an online media education project developed in 2005, an online media education tool for the highest classes of primary education.