Serious Games
IMGD 404X - C Term 2011

    Sampling of Playable Serious Games and Interactive Media -- January 2011

This is a sampling of serious games and interactive media for which at least a demo version is playable either in a browser or downloadable (some for Windows only), either for free or a small fee (some require registration). Note that the categorization below is only approximate--many games cross categories.

N.B. There are many excellent and important recent serious games that are not on this list because they do not happen to be freely available in playable form at this time.

  • See also Carrie Heeter's list


  • Raven Island (fire prevention for kids)
  • Cents City (financial skills for kis)
  • Life Preservers (biology/evolution)
  • Spark Island (multiple games for elementary school)
  • The Information Literacy Game (how to use a library)
  • Tate Kids (multiple games for art literacy)
  • Filament Games (multiple learning games)


  • Mission US (U.S. Revolutionary War)
  • Conspiracy Code (American history)
  • Rome in Danger (history of ancient Rome)
  • Discover Babylon (history of Mesopotamia)
  • Playing History: The Plague (European history)


  • iCivics (multiple civics games)
  • Master of the Mall (worker and consumer rights)
  • Budget Hero (federal budget)

    Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)

  • Space Station Sim (science and psychology of life in space)
  • Moon Base Alpha (lunar exploration)
  • Killer Flu (influenza pandemic)
  • The Great Flu (influenza pandemic)
  • Gamestar Mechanic (game design)
  • Immune Attack (human immune system)
  • Calculation Nation (multiple math games)
  • The Adventures of Josie True (STEM for girls)
  • BioInvestigators (high-school biology)
  • Compound Reaction (chemistry)
  • Forestia (forest management)
  • See also Federation of American Scientists list


    Emergency Training

  • Burn Center (mass casualty burn treatment)
  • Response Ready (emergency preparedness)
  • Multi-Casulty Incident Response (firefighter training)

    Personal Interaction Training

  • Zap Dramatic (multiple negotiation games--see online course demo)
  • At-Risk (teacher training)
  • Cool School (conflict resolution)

    Business/Technical Training

  • IBM Business Process Model (business process)
  • Cisco Learning Network (multiple games for computer network operations)
  • Cybersecurity (network security)
  • Get Security (HP small business IT security)
  • Tycoon Systems (multiple business simulations)
  • Power of Story: Driven (multiple storytelling games for business)
  • Lean Bicycle Manufacturing (lean manufacturing)
  • Game4Manager (management training)

    Medical Training

  • Top Doc (visual diagnosis skills)
  • Breast Cancer Detective (breast cancer detection)


  • Re-Mission (young cancer patients)
  • Ben's Game (young cancer patients)
  • El Dios Verde (HIV-AIDS awareness)
  • (multiple games)
  • Heart Sense (heart attack detection)


  • Fat World (fast food, obesity and socioeconomics)
  • Smash Your Food (sugar, salt and oil content of foods)

    Brain Exercise

  • Posit Science (multiple brain exercise games)
  • Brain Fitness Games (multiple brain exercise games)

    Psychological Health

  • Elude (depression awareness)
  • Self-Esteem Games (multiple games to increase self-esteem)

    Mobile Exercise Apps

  • FitQuest Lite (iPhone exercise in place)
  • Monumental (iPhone stair climbing)
  • FastFoot Challenge (Android/iPhone multiplayer chase)
  • See also MachineDance


  • America's Army 3 (army recruiting)
  • Dealertown Ford (vehicle financing)
  • BMW M3 challenge (racing game)
  • You vs. D. Rose (Adidas basketball shoes)
  • See also Belsky and Chun's list

    Political/Social Issues

  • Akoha (social reality game to motivate change--see blog)
  • People Power (civil resistance)
  • Harpooned (Japanese whaling)
  • ICED (immigration policy)
  • Activism--The Public Policy Game (Democratic National Campaign Committee)
  • What It Is (sexual violence)
  • See also Games for Change list


  • Oiligarchy (oil industry)
  • Energy City (energy independence)
  • Energize (electricity and pollution)
  • EnerCities (sustainable energy)


  • Stop Disasters (environmental disasters)
  • The Riverbed (water scarcity)
  • Climate Challenge (climate change)


  • Ayiti: The Cost of Life (poverty awareness)
  • Poverty is Not a Game (poverty awareness)
  • Spent (poverty awareness)
  • Third World Farmer (hardships of third world farming)
  • Food Force II (hunger in underdeveloped countries)

    Current Events

  • Darfur is Dying (crisis in Darfur)
  • Inside the Haiti Earthquake (interactive documentary)
  • PeaceMaker (Arab-Israel conflict)
  • Global Conflicts: Palestine (Arab-Israeli conflict)
  • Global Conflicts (multiple conflict understanding games)
  • Bank Rush (financial crisis)
  • Play the News (current events)

    Political Satire

  • Airport Security (airport security policies)
  • Sarah Palin---Guardian of the Northern Frontier (Sarah Palin's Alaska remarks)


  • Foldit (protein folding human computation)
  • The Restaurant Game (artificial intelligence for games)
  • The ESP Game (image tagging)

  • Back to course page