The specific types of serious games created for training purposes are difficult to categorize, since each new step in the technology creates new possibilities. However, there are specific styles of serious games or alternative purpose games that are fairly common for online types of 3D simulations. The type of serious game engine and the software used in the development of the program will have an impact on the larger scale games. However, for most of the customized games for business, industry or the government, the sky is really the limit.
The huge MMOG phenomenon, which is largely driven by game console play, is very popular worldwide. MMOG or massive multiplayer online games are typically role playing types of games that allow thousands of users online at the same time in a world created within the game. Some of these games are war strategy or first person shooter types of games, but there are also games in the category of sports, racing and social encounters, typically in a variety of worlds that are influenced by the actions and interactions of the players. While often seen as a purely entertainment based game, MMOGs can also be incorporated into learning and management decision making, financial management, industry management and even management of telecom and financial industries and banking institutions.
The military uses a variety of serious games including MMOGs as well as simulators for technical skills mastery. Flight simulators, war strategy games, tank and heavy equipment operation and urban warfare games are all designed to allow multiple players to interact in a very specialized type of virtual reality online training.
Simulation games for management training are an ideal type of training exercise. They can be divided into very discrete modules or strategy and policy planning games that allow concrete skills to be taught and mastered. These types of very customizable real time 3D games provide managers the opportunity to explore different decision making options without risking the company, clients or capital. Since the games can be very specific to the types of decisions and problems faced in a particular business sector the simulations are incredibly effective and highly applicable.
Problem solving and developing tools to deal with common and uncommon problems are another type of serious game option. These types of interactive 3D software programs can track specific learner responses, completion times and feedback throughout the scenario. Not always quantitative in their scoring, these games are ideal for determining those in the company that can think outside of the box and those that are effective problem solvers.
Agent based games that feature distributed virtual environments and personalized avatars are very common in all types of business and training scenarios. This allows more immersion into the serious game while also adding a very realistic and socially appealing aspect to the training. Game based learning can be enhanced by virtual meetings and classroom types of activities where players can interact and learn from each other as well as the game.