Non-Serious Serious Games

Matthew Hudson

Received 30 April 2016, published online 7 December 2016


Serious games have been shown to promote behavioural change and impart skills to players, and non-serious games have proven to have numerous benefits. This paper argues that non-serious digital games played in a ‘clan’ or online community setting can lead to similar real world benefits to serious games. This paper reports the outcomes from an ethnographic study and the analysis of user generated data from an online gaming clan. The outcomes support previous research which shows that non-serious games can be a setting for improved social well-being, second language learning, and self-esteem/confidence building. In addition this paper presents the novel results that play within online game communities can impart benefits to players, such as treating a fear of public speaking. This paper ultimately argues that communities of Gamers impart ‘serious’ benefits to their members.


Online communities; clan; social play; serious games;

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