What games make you keep playing?

The Google Hangout of July 1st also allowed the audience to share their experience with games. We asked them "What game did you enjoy recently? And please explain (if possible) why it was enjoyable".

Among the answers, many games with fantasy elements occurred, either as card- or board games (Magic the Gathering) or online emersive role playing (World of Warcraft).

It is not easy to explain why we like certain games, yet the majority in the audience seems to do so. Games should not be too complicated to start, according to some answers we got. Either rules should be simple, or the game should be designed such, that you gradually learn the more complex rules by playing and discovering. Some players allow games to get progressively complicated, as long as the game rewards are fun and 'the brain is exercised'.

Cranium is a party game that comes recommended for trainers; it asks players to perform and communicate ideas in different ways. It is also quite easy to set up, and rules are simple. What I liked when reading up about this game, is the story that the designer quit his job at Microsoft after getting the idea for Cranium and dedicated his full time after that to develop and market the game (1). Sometimes we need to follow our heart.

The perspective came up that it is enjoyable to watch children play and  develop strategies. So it is not only fund to play games yourself, it is also attractive to watch others play. Recently I have discovered the world of YouTube Game Videos. These are not games in themselves, yet videos of people playing games (either online or board games). For hours these channels go on and some are immensely popular (2).

Anna wrote something very interesting in the survey, about the game that their group developed in 1999 in Czech Republic: "GAME against AIDS". This is an interactive preventive project for schoolchildren related to the prevention of unwanted pregnancies and prevention of STI, HIV/AIDS. The project was based on experience of a German project called "Mitmach-Parcours zu AIDS, Liebe and Sexualität", developed by the BZgA in Köln, Germany. The concept is interaction between children with moderators / peer educators standing around five 'stations' called:

  • Ways of HIV transmission
  • Love, sexuality and protection against HIV infection
  • Prevention of Unwanted Pregnancies, STI and HIV
  • Body Game
  • Life with HIV

The main focus is to generate an 'easy conversation' where serious discussion is mixed with fun and humour (3). The game is still circulating in different versions in the Czech Republic.

What's next?

In other posts I have referred to use of games for education, and there are many signs that it is a path worth developing further. So far, this is a development activity for Transmissible, with no practical products to offer. There is a small team of people helping me and we welcome enthusiastic partners who are interested to help us further develop.



Keep sharing your views

Below this post you are welcome to keep sharing your thoughts about serious games, education and public health. Registered users can comment. And registration to this site is free 🙂


  1. Cranium (Board Game), from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  2. This guy this-guy-makes-millions-playing-video-games-on-youtube, from The Atlantic (2014).
  3. Abstract book, 4th European Conference on the Methods and Results of Social and Behavioral Research on AIDS "European Approach Towards AIDS: Research Policy, Prevention and Care", September 2002, Vilnius, Lithuania.
Click to access the login or register cheesemenu-circlecross-circle