History of the SGS&C
The Serious Games Showcase & Challenge (SGS&C) began in 2005 when Team Orlando leaders felt a strong need to stimulate industry creativity and generate institutional interest toward the use of digital game technology and approaches for training and education. They formed a partnership with the National Training Simulation and Association (NTSA), the organizers of Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC), and the first SGS&C was held at I/ITSEC 2006. From there, the SGS&C team grew into a volunteer-driven group, led each year by both an industry and government representative, and actively supported by Team Orlando. SGS&C has been a growing staple of I/ITSEC event ever since.
SGS&C Learning and Education
SGS&C formed a partnership with Orange County (Florida) Public Schools (OCPS) in 2013 to select the first Students’ Choice Award winner. Middle and high school students around the county collectively evaluated select games from a student perspective to determine the award. OCPS students and teachers get the opportunity to learn how games can be used for learning and education while participating in the Challenge.
The primary purpose of the Challenge is to advance the concept of using games as a training/education medium. In the furtherance of this goal, SGS&C is actively partnering with other conferences who share this vision by either establishing a regional international Challenge or collaboratively linking their serious games competition with SGS&C. The end state is for four regional international Challenges: one each in Europe, Asia, South America, and Oceania.
In 2012, SGS&C started reaching out to game challenges around the world. The new initiative allowed winners of coordinated Serious Games contests from international markets to become automatic finalists at SGS&C.
That same year, Simulation Australia sponsored the first international challenge, the Serious Games Showcase, at the SimTecT conference. SimTecT nominates two winners from their contest who get an automatic finalist berth in this SGS&C.
In 2015, Australian nominee Monkeystack won not only the first award from the continent, but two awards with their game Project Desal! The region continues to provide finalists with the Serious Games Showcase & Challenge – Australasia (SGSCA).
Also in 2015, SGS&C extended its international partnership to include the Brazilian Independent Games Festival (BIG), the first and largest festival of independent games in Latin America. Every year, BIG selects the best independent games in the world selecting games based on visuals, sound, narrative, gameplay and innovation. The BIG Festival also has a section devoted to educational games, and provided the Challenge with one finalist in its first year of collaboration.
In 2022, we continued to build our international affiliations by announcing the launch of the Serious Games Showcase and Challenge Europe (SGSCE) with the Defence Simulation, Education and Training (DSET) conference held in the United Kingdom. SGSCE held its inaugural challenge in June 2023, and we look forward to welcoming their future winners as an automatic finalist, alongside SGSCA, in this challenge at I/ITSEC.
SGS&C is exploring partnership opportunities for the other three international regions. The benefits of regional international Challenges are multi-faceted:
- Increased visibility of serious gaming within the region;
- Expanded serious game networking opportunities internationally; and
- The acceleration of our primary goal to advance serious gaming.
Developers also benefit from the regional Challenges – the student and grand prize winners are automatic finalists for all relevant awards in the SGS&C, and get assistance to attend I/ITSEC in Orlando, Florida!
Serious Game advocates – contact us if you are interested in partnering your serious games competition with SGS&C, or establishing a Challenge in Asia or South America Serious Game developers. Take advantage of the opportunities to get your game the exposure and recognition it deserves. Enter your regional Challenge and/or the SGS&C at I/ITSEC.