Serious Games | Wilson Center

Serious Games

About the Serious Games Initiative

As a dominate form of media used by the average American, games have the power to make complex ideas accessible, allowing a direct experience to worth through the intricacies of policy problems. The Serious Games Initiative (SGI) was founded with one goal: to use games to engage the broader public in policy discourse. It is one thing to read about potential impact of policy solutions – it is another to live it. Since its founding, SGI has been a leader in the field of serious games.

Cities in Play: Empowering Citizens and City Governments to Work for More Responsive Public Policies

As populations and economic potential become increasingly concentrated in urban areas, cities around the world are on the front lines of pressing global issues ranging from inequality to sustainability. Tackling these challenges requires both ingenuity and collaboration between public officials and citizens—and cities need to ensure that residents are equipped to engage. One way is through technology. Technology can be used to improve transparency, accountability, and communication between city officials and their residents.

How Would Woodrow Wilson Captain the Fiscal Ship

Managing a budget is hard. Playing a game is easy. Doing both can get complicated.

Setting Sail on The Fiscal Ship


Navigating the Nebula

Think fast: how much of an impact would eliminating the cap on the Social Security payroll tax have on the nation’s federal budget?

Answer: A hefty move like that could completely close Social Security’s projected solvency gap. That means increasing revenue and thereby lowering budget spending on the order of around 100 billion dollars.   

Budgets & Brews: Come Captain the Fiscal Ship!

Rising federal debt isn’t a game. It’s a real problem – but in order to explain the problem, we decided to turn it into a game that is fun, but challenging, to play.

The Fiscal Ship: Can You Put The Budget On A Sustainable Course?

The Fiscal Ship: Can You Put The Budget On A Sustainable Course?

Understanding Gaming Audiences

One of the fastest growing media audiences are people who play digital games. Although there are many stereotypes around who may be a digital game player, recent reports such as the Electronic Software Association (ESA)'s 2016 Essential Facts indicate digital game players are not only growing in number but diversifying. For example, the average digital game consumer is 35 years old, and there are more women over 18 who play digital games than there are men under 18 who play.