Griffith Film School and the Griffith Centre for Creative Arts Research are hosting the prestigious Joint Conference on Serious Games — the first time the event has been held in Australia.

Computer games are no longer the domain of teenage boys playing shoot ‘em up. Serious games have a purpose, ranging from game-based learning to health, well-being and behaviour change.

Conference Chair and Lecturer in Games Design at Griffith Film School Dr Tim Marsh said the two-day conference will push the boundaries of gaming, as well as explore the creative interplay between film making, narrative and game design.

“This is about broadening the audience and providing a deeper experience— they are really games for non-gamers” he said.

“Serious games have the potential to alter behaviour, raise awareness, and affect real change.

“The technological and artistic innovation in serious games and gamification is creating new ways to play, interact and experience. Essentially, they are games with purpose.”

Serious games an art with purpose

Dr Marsh said the exhibition reflects the conference theme “Art with Purpose” and encompasses a wide range of experiences — from a game that aims to help you to relax and experience a sense of calmness to a VR headset experience that combines with an exercise bike to reduce the risk of developing dementia.

Head of the Griffith Film School Professor Herman van Eyken said it was an exciting time for the serious games scene.

“We are at a very exciting time where the cinematic arts and games development are converging, inspiring new possibilities,” he said.

“Serious games are at the pinnacle of all game development because they have the possibility to create change, they have purpose.

“We are all very proud to host Australia’s first major international serious games conference.”

The conference features international keynote speakers, workshops, an exhibition and panel discussions to showcase the most recent developments in the serious games universe.

The conference will be held at The Edge, State Library of Queensland from 26-27 September.

Edit 4 October 2016: View images from the conference.