‘Impact games’ is an umbrella term which refers to games that are purpose driven. Like serious games, which denote games that have a serious intent, the merit of impact games is expressed through their ability to add value and promote behaviour change and learning outcomes.
Within the education and training space, game-based learning or ‘learning through play’ is gaining traction as an innovative and viable tool to promote the development of vital skills such as critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. In schools, introducing education games into curriculums as a supplement to traditional models helps to offer a more holistic learning experience for learners which serves to assess and evaluate how students apply their skills, knowledge and abilities.
Beyond the classroom, game- and simulation-based training assessments at a tertiary level or in a work context, also benefit from the use of impact games that can mirror the dynamic interaction, structural complexity, and feedback loops of real-world situations and scenarios. In this respect, impact games will truly revolutionise training and education models for industries and businesses. And this is before we harness the potential of new technologies (VR and AR for example) that can make the learning experience that much more immersive and engaging.
For the financial sector, impact games have the ability to translate complex and (at times) boring constructs such as learning about savings and investing for retirement into engaging and enjoyable activities. Playing impact finance games which address these critical subjects serves to educate players and enhance their lives and ultimately makes people better decision makers in the real world as they integrate and apply their knowledge learnt through gameplay.
In a similar vein, impact games that address health related issues and explain concepts through interactive game-based mechanics promote the exchange of crucial information in a way that is accessible, engaging and relatable to everyday individuals. In doing so, impact games serve to sever the divide between those who have always had access to information and those who have not. As a vehicle for the exchange of relevant information, impact games offer people, without a background in finance and health, the opportunity to engage and be empowered to make good financial and health decisions for themselves and for their families. One can only imagine what is possible when it comes to businesses starting to integrate ESG goals into their business models. How better to introduce a whole new dimension of decision making than to use impact games to demonstrate how best to trade-off short term financial goals with long term sustainability ones.
Turning to the marketing sector, impact games which provoke customers to voluntarily engage with a branded game or gaming experience has shown to significantly increase brand loyalty. In a society largely devoid of trust in corporations, marketing-based impact games offer a way for customers and businesses to share and exchange value which fosters a relationship between the two parties. Additionally, as customer expectations continue to evolve, driven by increasing digitalisation and changing needs, brands have been forced to look to new ways to communicate and engage with consumers in ways that are valuable and relevant to them. Impact games offer the perfect solution. Due to the fact that impact games for marketing are also scalable and measurable, they offer businesses access to their own customer data and meaningful insight into consumer behaviours which inform better decision making on their end.
At Sea Monster specifically, our role as creators of games for impact involves a commitment to engaging audiences at scale to inspire behaviour change so that businesses can deliver on their goals. Whether those goals are based within the education, finance, health or marketing sector, Sea Monster is an experienced game developer and an advocate for the power of impact games to grow business and promote positive change.
Sea Monster is one of the most established gaming studios on the African continent. With a history in animation production, we make use of the most advanced technologies to tell the story of brands and businesses. We design games that do more than just entertain; we design impact games that can change the world.
In today’s competitive landscape, brands make use of a variety of channels and platforms such as above-the-line (like radio and TV), middle (digital media) and below-the-line (public relations and physical activations) to craft successful marketing campaigns.
Gamfication is not a new phenomenon. In the wake of the Games for Change Africa festival, which took place towards the end of 2022, it’s becoming increasingly clear that gaming – and impact gaming in particular – has the potential to be a significant force for good across the African continent. Not only can the sector help drive positive change in fields such as education, financial literacy, and skills development, but impact gaming can also promote job creation and help foster diversity and inclusivity.
South Africa’s oceans, like others around the world, are under grave threat from overfishing, poaching, and other illicit marine activities. That threat isn’t just to the fish caught up on lines and trawler nets either. Rather, it represents a danger to entire ecosystems below and above the water and also to livelihoods and the economy as a whole. That’s without even considering marine poaching, which is enriching violent criminal gangs.