Example #1 why the 'Serious Games' folks are insane




Yeah, they miss all those driving a beast games…


Well, riding a beast is supposed to make me want to buy an SUV and keep my tires at 28 PSI?

…what in the hell does that have to do with ‘serious games’?

As much as I hate to admit it, this probably does fall under the umbrella of serious games, since it’s intended as an educational tool. Really though, those of us at the Serious Games Initiative would really rather the Attorney General’s office didn’t present this stuff in such a silly manner, since it ends up undermining our efforts to present games and game technology as serious tools for education and dissemination of public policy. Ah well, your (and my) tax dollars at work, I suppose. sigh

  • Alan

Can someone please give this thread some context for me? What do you guys mean by “Serious Games”? Is that an organization, a developer, or just a buzzword for some group of people/gamers/whatever? I’m completely lost here.

I think it means games as a method for imparting “serious” information, rather than just a method for having fun. Think, for example, about imparting information about global socioeconomics from a capitalism type game, or global politics from a Civ type game.

Though I thought the esuvee thing was okay. It’s kinda fun, and the goofy part is the wild esuvee beast in the first place, but I don’t think that has a whole lot to do with the game aspect. I’m not sure exactly why they decided to try to anthropomorphize an SUV given the general buying audience of such things, frankly.

I thought for sure, you ment the croteam. The seatbelt button doesn’t seem to work in Camino, by the way.


  • Alan

esuvee = spoof advert for Onions 300th anniversary “future” edition.

still cant figure out the serious part.

Pretty sure it doesn’t have anything to do with the Onion. I’ve seen the commercials on TV.

For me, serious games pretty much began and ended with Oregon Trail and Lemonade Stand.

If they really want to teach people not to drive SUVs like idiots, why don’t they just slap a huge tariff on them and add a license class for em. I’d love that.

Maybe all the horrible driver soccer moms would go back to minivans, instead of freaking Ford Expeditions or whatever.

still cant figure out the serious part.

Well, since this is a ‘game’ to teach good driving techniques and not to sell/advertise, and the idea is to learn while having said fun, then it seems to qualify.

I’m not sure who the target audience tho. Oregon trail has a pretty well defined target audience. Esuvee is aimed at whom exactly? I clicked on the link at Gamespot, I think, that sent me there. Might have been Fileshack tho.


Hi guys - I’m new here ! hello.

A friend forwarded me the topic. My company (Templar Studios) made the Esuvee game for an ad agency that has a contract with a federal SUV safety committee, made up of the Attorney General and state consumer protection agencies (I think :P )

The ad agency behind it is a pretty clever one. What I believe happened was:

a) Everyone and their mother start buying $#@*&! SUVs.
b) Folks drive them like cars and therefore certain models roll over and smush everyone and their mother.
c) People and the government get mad. They form the commission, who works with SUV manufacturers to figure out how to educate people on their dangers.
d) The government suggests publishing a list of which SUVs are the worst (safety-wise).
e) The car companies have a cow because they know that since people won’t stop buying SUVs, they’ll start buying only the ones the government says is safe. Certain car companies - the ones with the worst SUVs - will lose a LOT of money in sales to the other companies.
f) They work with this particularly clever ad agency to come up with a way to get the message out without targetting specific models and manufacturers.
g) The clever agency comes up with the Esuvee, an all-inclusive, non-specific generic SUV that bears no resemblance to any specific make or model - and happens to be cute and cuddly at the same time.
h) Car companies breathe a sigh of relief. Consumers are informed not about specific unsafe models, but rather methods of driving, loading and tire pressure that will make them safer in ANY SUV.
g) Everybody and their mother carries on buying SUVs of all makes and models and continue to smush themselves and each other (although hopefully slightly less often than before).

That make any sense? Regarding the target market - Who knows? Everyone and their mother, I guess. Ye can’t spit without hittin one of the damn things.

And I can tell you - it was a bitch coming up with a driving game where the point was NOT to crash or go fast :( I feel like we fell a bit short in some areas, but I think it looks nice at least. And you’re right, I guess this does fall under the “serious games” category.


Hey peter! peter ginsberg here. Small world, eh?

Web games are a wacky world to work in. E.g. client comes at you with something like “We want a super cool web game for our tv show, and oh, it has to be based on Battleship”. Last several games I’ve worked on have had to be strictly no violence and in some pretty odd settings.

It can be a real challenge, but sometimes it can be fun working under weird restrictions. Forces creativity in a way.

Of course, you look at this game, and something like this immediately pops out at you:
Let the esuvee take damage, and he can eat pedestrians to restore health.

But I guess that wouldn’t fly, eh? :P

I totally whipped that thing around the mastery track tho. I think I got like 69,000.

Am I the only one who looks at those Esuvees and thinks of Snuffleupagus?

Thanks for the info from the developers perspective, from that I take it that my title should be changed to ‘People hiring Serious Games developers are insane’ =)

Having worked for a government agency on multimedia projects I can definitly tell where you are coming from with regard to theire demands and expectations.

One thing I failed to mention earlier, is I actually DO drive an SUV. A Chevy Avalanche in fact. And that fact did not make me more receptive or sympathetic to the lesson plan…

I wish I did remember the exact site that I clicked from to get to the Esuvee thing, it was definitly a gamer site and not a mass market site like CNN where you would expect to find a broad range of older, affluent, would be SUV drivers.


Eh, took the game out for a spin and I had one major problem.

When I press a key and the esuvee takes a while to turn, I realize that’s simulating momentum, but it’s playing the trot/gallop animation like it would if I were going straight.

When I turn a steering wheel in a car and I don’t change direction immediately, my first thought is not that the steering column has become disconnected from the front wheels. But when trying to turn I wasn’t sure if the game had even accepted my input.