Serious Urban Games®

Using the term ‘Serious Urban Games®’, we are putting our own mark on the more widely discussed phenomenon of ‘serious games’: a collection of different sorts of games (board and card games, video games, …) that evoke insight or have learning experience as a key goal and not merely entertainment.

What is a Serious Urban Game®?

A S_U+G Serious Urban Game® combines teamwork, technology, skills and knowledge to achieve a common goal. Participants take part in challenges and are being encouraged by live feedback. At the same time, they familiarize themselves with societal themes, expand their horizon and acquire 21st century skill sets.

Each game is being developed for and in collaboration with the target audience. Our development process is co-creative and takes place in 3 phases: meeting the needs of and tailored to the intended audience, incorporating their input and checking if the game effectively attracts the target audience.

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Much like a lot of other serious games, our Serious Urban Games® also deal with societal themes. They do however go beyond ‘spicing up’ up serious subjects via games. A Serious Urban Game® wants to raise awareness, break taboos and empower our youth. Each game is developed through intensive co-creation processes in which our partners and a large group of diverse youngsters provide their input, co-develop our games and test them

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Our urban games create both physical and digital interaction between youth and their city or municipality. We do not only want to bring into contact the youth with the local inhabitants, city council services and organisations but also provide their feedback to local stakeholders and influence policy. As such we hope that our games can contribute to a better city or municipality where everyone’s opinion counts.

In our group dynamical city games we let the youth explore the city. Using a tablet or smartphone they effectively interact with the city and its inhabitants, city council services and organisations. Furthermore, we also stimulate this interaction by offering a growing supply of online game experiences. As such we created the game Lockdown Minds™ corona times, a fully online version of our Serious Urban Game® about mental wellbeing. This enables us to reach individual youngsters and refer them to online counseling.

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Everything that is fun sticks around longer! Game-based learning is a way of learning that has already proven its effectiveness. Difficult subjects are playfully becoming open for discussion and at the same time, the youngsters are working on developing a variety of competences that will aid them as well as their classmates when needed. But why take our word for it? Read this research about learning effects of our Serious Urban Game® No Credit, Game Over® by the Dutch research group Panteia or have a look at this summary in this infographic.


To fill any possible gaps between youth, organisations and policy, our games demand structural collaboration with services that support the youth. If your organisation or service meets our subject matter (handling money, finding employment, climate awareness, reinforcing mental resilience), we can explore together how you can get a spot in one our existing games and how we can help young people to find a way to your offer or services.

Custom made games

GameWise is continuously updating its offer by expanding its selection and keeping the content and GameCompanions up-to-date. Would you like to gamify a topic of your choice, draw attention to it and, with our help, start up a co-creation process?

“S_U+G Serious Urban Game is a project and registered trademark of Lieve Achten for TELMA