DESIGN SERIOUS GAMES FOR INFORMAL EDUCATION: CASE STUDY

A. Teles Vieira

New University of Lisbon (PORTUGAL)
Identifying that games are used for educational purposes is complex. The use of the game in an educational setting is not new. Traditional games (not digital) are used to learn social behaviors, and reactions to psychological stimuli. The classification and characterization of the serious games and its relation to virtual worlds and simulation may have different perspectives. They need to be engaging, and not necessarily fun, and earning can be implicitly or explicitly. The result of the act of learning is dependent on an appropriate pedagogy and game design and, also, how that content is integrated into the game: for learning to be intrinsic to the act of play.

This paper intends to reflect how the implementation of serious games in an informal learning context can be a challenge. In this particular case, the analysis and description of the experience is related to the citizenship education: the project concerns all the uses and practices of the insurances in daily life society. The aim is to provide young people active and enjoyable ways of acquiring information about the function, operation and usefulness of the insurance industry. The project aims, firstly, to provide correct information and perspectives on the essentials of insurance business, while contributing to dilute some "cliches" supported on simplistic ideas that distort or caricature a system of services essential to the proper functioning of society.

Therefore, this paper aims to explain the design and develop of three serious games, according to the mental evolution and capabilities of children from three different age groups. Based on constructivist theory, we intend to prove that "learning by doing", using serious games, can be essential in the informal education context.