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Coventry University’s Serious Games Institute (SGI) was set up at a time of step change in the consideration of games technologies, computer modelling simulations and the use of digital interactive media to support non-leisure-based activities. At a time of rapid changes in the uses of these relatively new technologies it is important to accompany forays into using these more socially-based technologies with timely research and development. The Research and Development Group at the SGI provides leading edge applied research supporting of a wide range of serious gaming and virtual world technologies, spanning the three key areas of health, education, and environment. Research is focusing upon comparisons between traditional and game-based learning approaches, integration of artificial life technologies, modelling and visualization work, new uses for games technologies, and testing new multimodal interfaces.

The Research and Development Group provides a focus for the research and development community in the UK and abroad, forging new links between research groups, collaborations on leading edge research projects, and creating cross- and multi-disciplinary opportunities for researchers with backgrounds in psychology, computer science, education, creative media and other disciplines to fully explore and advance the use and application of serious games. The Research and Development Group also supports and develops a network of the research, development and user communities with special interest groups in health training, education, schools, environmental training and awareness and team-based training. SGI papers have been accepted at top conferences such as IEEE, ACM, SIGGRAPH, and at top journals with high impact, leading to the acquisition of a research portfolio worth over £2.5 million between August 2007 and October 2009. Furthermore, the Research & Development Group disseminates its findings to the West Midlands and UK communities through seminars, targeted publications and reports.

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