First, let me introduce myself, my name is Sarah, I’m a French Masters student studying International Trade and Marketing. Previously I studied foreign languages and business at the Université Jean Monnet in Saint-Etienne, a city close to Lyon.
As part of my Degree and my Masters I studied English, Spanish and German. Because my studies are focusing on the international aspect of business, my university encourages students to work abroad. I have always been interested in foreign cultures and I have always wanted to live abroad, so this was perfect for me.
I started working for Focus Games in their Glasgow studio last year as part of my Masters first year’s internship and I loved it so much that I decided to come back for my second year’s work placement.
Working abroad is a great experience to not only learn more about yourself but also to develop new skills. During my internship I was able to learn more about serious games. It was something I had never come across before working at Focus Games. When I started working on the various projects it immediately made sense to me why this concept works. The games are not only fun, they facilitate discussions around serious matters such as infections and malnutrition.
Here at Focus Games, I mainly work on project management and marketing. Each project is different by its topic, game play and design. It requires a lot of research to make sure that the information provided in the game are evidence-based. It is even more challenging for me, as a foreigner, I sometimes struggle finding relevant information, but I can always count on my teammates to help me.
I worked on the recently launched Infection Management Game, created in partnership with NHS Lothian and Scottish Health Innovations. I learned a lot about Infection Prevention and Control, working on this project and writing questions for the game with Odette Brooks, Critical Care Infection Surveillance Nurse at NHS Lothian.
Of course, the content of a serious game is important, but another key element is the game play. You have to make sure that the game remains fun while generating the right discussions. That must be one of my favourite aspects to work on with the team and our partners. You can really be creative and imagine different scenarios for each game.
However, for me the best feeling is when the game is finished, and the partner is happy with it. I particularly enjoy receiving feedback from people who played the game and enjoyed and learn something out of it.
All the things I have learned working at Focus Games will help me write my Masters’ dissertation which will focus on the key elements a serious game company need to grow on the marketplace.
Serious games are getting more attention and that's great because we make serious games. However, most of the attention is focussed on digital and we make board games. Are we out-of-touch?
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