After a busy four days and hundreds of visitors to the Serious Games Showcase and Challenge (SGS&C) booth at the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) in Orlando, Florida, the top winners from the 25 finalist games were announced at an awards ceremony during I/ITSEC.

Serious Games
Image credit: Serious Games Showcase and Challenge

The SGS&C 2019 winners for each of the seven categories are:

Best Government Game – Chain of Command: Capture the Seas by Naval Information Warfare Command PMW-120

Best Business Game – Swibo Tilt by Swibo Ltd.

Best Student Game – SIGNAL by UC Berkeley and the Project on Nuclear Gaming

Best XR Game – VestAid Game Suite by Intelligent Automation, Inc.

Innovation Award – Earth-to-Mars: A VR Serious Game for Leadership by eLearning Studios

Students’ Choice Game – Get a Life by Game-Based Learning, K20 Center at The University of Oklahoma

People’s Choice Game – Talon by U.S. Army PEO Aviation Utility Helicopter Project Office UH60

“In our 14th year, SGS&C finalists continue to bring unrivaled innovation for the I/ITSEC community to experience,” said Jennifer McNamara, SGS&C director, and vice president, serious games and strategic partnerships for BreakAway Games. “The 25 games exemplified learning integrated with diverse gameplay from casual puzzles to first person shooters and strategy games; some offered competitive challenges, while others offered collaborative challenges. Regardless of game style, the level of integrated play was really raised this year.”

In this year’s competition, there were 10 games that offered extended reality (XR) immersion including real and virtual combined environments generated by computer technology and wearables through applications of augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), and virtual reality (VR).

“We had a few games that incorporated peripherals including a balance board that works with any common smartphone, steering wheel / pedal combination, and an instrumented fire extinguisher,” added McNamara. “You could truly get fully immersed in the training. It was also quite impressive to see how many of the games brought research on efficacy and validity of their approaches, and beyond offering a stand-alone game experience, had fully integrated their products within a larger program of tools for the end users.”

“This show was the first time I’ve been truly surrounded by people passionate about serious games and their potential,” said Ben Dunn, CEO for Swibo Ltd., the developer of this year’s best business game, Swibo Tilt. “It was inspiring, humbling, and honestly a huge relief to see that we're not alone in trying to show people the power and impact of serious games.”

The SGS&C submission window opens each August and offers developers three categories for entry: government, business, or student.  Entry games are then evaluated in October to determine the finalists that participate in I/ITSEC.