It’s that dreaded time of year, when websites and publications put out their lists. Best Games. Worst Games. Most Disappointing Games. And then, at the other end of the spectrum, there are the serious games.

They get awards, too. At least from the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference, mercifully shortened to I/ITSEC. They hold a contest every year for games that deal with real-life situations.

Stuff like Burn Center, this year’s Best Game. You can tell just from the title what that one is all about. The Peoples Choice award went to Canadian Forces Direct Action, a tactical first person shooter. Yeah, killing is allowed in serious games ;).

And then there’s GeoCommander, the Best Government Game. It is apparently an anti-terrorist product. I say “apparently”, because the description isn’t what I’d call “clear”. And I’m still puzzling over “the problem of accurate Geo Location of hostile forces supporting the Global War on Terror.”

So? Hostile forces out there are supporting the war on terror? Then why are they hostile? Or maybe they meant “supporting the war on terror by geolocation of hostile forces”. Someone in government had to have written the game description.

There are some interesting games on that list, including Age Of Ecology, probably a bit more realistic than, say, Civilization and the like. You’ll even find a puzzle game based on the Roman empire.

Take a look and see what you think. Some of them sound better than A-titles.

Serious Games 2008 Winners