The battle between educators and entertainers continue when it comes to gaming. While this is so, the edutainment battleground has expanded to include actors outside formal schooling agencies, namely International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs). These actors employ digital games with the aim to educate and activate towards specific social causes. These serious games are viewed to have tremendous potential for behavioral change through their interactive and persuasive aspects. This paper examines serious games deployed by certain prominent INGOs and analyzes the educative aspects of such new media platforms. What is revealed at the design, audience, and content level compel us to examine what constitutes as education through serious games. Here, education is seen as social marketing employing sensationalism, morality, and emotional capital to stimulate activism. Such games sustain the converted rather than create new understandings of complex social issues.

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ERMeCC - Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture
International Journal of Game-Based Learning
Department of Media and Communication

Arora, P., & Itu, S. (2012). Arm chair activism: Serious games usage by INGOs for educational change. International Journal of Game-Based Learning, 2(4), 1–29. Retrieved from