Cape Town – Sea Monster Entertainment is an animation, gaming and augmented reality business that is based in Cape Town.
It has delivered animated explainers, TV series, games and apps to many leading agencies, corporates and consumers in South Africa and around the world.
Their multitude of clients amongst many others include bank giant Capitec – who commissioned the tech company to develop a game that would produce a fresh approach to help South African consumers improve their financial literacy.
Multi-faceted business-woman, Ayanda Dambuza, also assigned a responsibility to the tech giant to develop her true-life inspired fictional book, A Brave Girl Named Ayah, into an animated TV series.
Founder and MD of the business, Glenn Gillis, says that for the longest time, games have been the means by which humanity brings structure to interactions – in much the same way that stories help us make sense of the world.
He says it is this understanding of the function of games that makes a brilliant case for the role of serious games as a key learning tool in contemporary business, consumer and educational environments.
Fun and playful
“A serious game has an outcome other than entertainment, and is often associated with the drive to shift consumer behaviour in some way,” he says.
“The term ‘serious game’ may well read as an oxymoron – isn’t a game by its very nature meant to be fun and playful rather than, well, serious?” says Glenn.
Glenn holds a Business Science Degree from the prestigious University of Cape Town.
He is the shrewd mastermind behind the business that has provided much-needed employment opportunities to 22 employees and to a network of over 30 service providers including specialist animators and producers.
He highlights four main characteristics that define a serious game.
“The first is that a game has a goal, opposed to a toy – which is effectively a game without a goal,” he says.
“A game also has rules, feedback systems and relies on voluntary participation,” he continues.
Value of games
He says brands are increasingly waking up to the value of games as a means of interacting with their audiences to drive marketing outcomes.
“Games offer a way for brands to deepen their purpose with customers and as purpose-lead companies continue to outperform those that aren’t clear about their purpose, the game is on to share that purpose with audiences in a relevant, meaningful and engaging way,” says Glenn.
He says far from a niche interest, gaming today is bigger than the television and cinema industries combined.
He says any brand or organisation serious about growing and retaining its relevance in 2022 and beyond simply can’t afford to overlook the seriousness of serious games.
“Serious games are a key feature of learning and engagement in the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” he concludes.
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Picture: Glenn Gillis
Compiled by Odwa Shumi