This summer, we entered our own serious game - Chomp, into the Serious Games Showcase and Challenge Europe 2023 in Bristol, UK - hosted by the DSET event.
Little did we know, we would be walking away with some awards...
We’ve been a little quiet since we launched back in April 2020. As you can imagine, the world pandemic brought uncertainty across the world, so we held off pushing to promote Chomp. Our priority was to focus on our core business, ensuring stability through unprecedented times. Luckily business remained good through this period, and we worked on several great projects.
Now, as we find ourselves on the flipside - we decided it's the perfect time to promote and get momentum back into Chomp’s roadmap. Earlier this year, whilst planning opportunities to get Chomp back out to the public, I was made aware of The Serious Games Showcase and Challenge Europe 2023 (http://sgschallenge.com/). We entered - thinking that it'd be great to give us a bit of exposure and start the ball rolling again. Quite unexpectedly, we received notification that we’d become finalists for the showcase *and* that we would have the opportunity to exhibit Chomp at the event itself!
A showcase? Finalists?! GREAT! What a perfect way to not only demonstrate what we believe to be the perfect example of a serious game - Chomp, but also to get back out into the real world - talking about what we love. Serious Games.
The Serious Games Showcase and Challenge Europe 2023 was held at the DSET event from 6th – 8th of June 2023. DSET is much more than an event - it's a community that works throughout the year to enable excellent networking, identify opportunities, exchange of ideas and best practice. DSET also provides a peer-to-peer engaging environment that produces results to current challenges for all participants - Military, Government, Academia & Industry.
It was a privilege to be present at the event, and truly great to speak to so many people about serious games whilst demonstrating Chomp. I was thrilled to see Chomp received so well - on overarching theme being that everyone instantly ‘got it’ - it just makes sense!
The idea is to have fun first. Then, suddenly - you realise you’ve learned real content. Vocational skills for *actual* work! All whilst having fun, crazy huh? The more you play, the more you learn.
Of course it was great to see and speak to the other serious game finalists who had come from the UK, US and Germany. They ranged from using Microsoft’s Hololens, to a custom built retro experience transmitting messages to promote amateur radio. We were surrounded by so many cool projects!
And this is where things got interesting...
On the second day we were called up to the main conference room, where all of the serious game developers were asked to gather at the front. It was announced that Chomp had won the Ernie Romans Memorial Award for the 'Most Fun Serious Game' at the showcase! I was hit with a wall of silly string and presented with not only an award, but also a beloved Hawaiian shirt, to honour the larger than life spirit of Ernie Romans (on the previous day, I had actually chatted to Ernie’s widow and sons who had been flown in from Canada -especially to present this award!) It was a joy and privilege to get to speak to the family, and to be presented with such a prestigious award. Thank you!
ERNIE ROMANS MEMORIAL TROPHY
"Ernie Romans was a brilliant practitioner of Military Simulation and Training and a large part of our M&S community over the years. He was a superb professional alongside being enormously fun. In his memory, the winner of this challenge will be the game that has the most enjoyable gameplay."
So it came to the official awards ceremony on the final day. I genuinely thought (because Chomp is playful, fun, and provides learning content that was quite different from the other entries) that all of the other games entered would scoop up the remaining awards. Many did of course, however - we won again… the Innovation Award!
"The Innovation Award aims to recognize innovation in serious games. For purposes of the Challenge, innovation is defined as a characteristic or technique that enhances the serious game in a new, novel, or different way. Innovation can be accomplished through hardware integration, instructional design, game design, content topic, or a combination thereof. The Innovation Award will be judged by and awarded at the sole discretion of the Challenge Innovation Committee."
Not only did we win The Innovation Award, we were overjoyed to be presented with the Overall Winner of The Serious Games Showcase and Challenge Europe 2023.
It’s an understatement to say it was a genuine shock to receive this. What an incredible experience!
View all the other finalists here: https://dset.co.uk/seriousgames-finalists/
What does this mean?
Not only has it provided renewed momentum for us to give Chomp the exposure and recognition it truly deserves, but... it also means - we are finalists in Orlando, Florida! From November 27th until December 1st 2023 we will be at The Serious Games Showcase & Challenge as part of the I/ITSEC 2023 (Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference) https://www.iitsec.org/
This is beyond exciting! We don’t really know what to expect and cannot wait to get involved.
One thing that is for certain - Chomp is full of energy and ready to push forwards for an mega future!
Find out more and keep up to date with Chomp here: https://chomp.fun