Research with serious gaming (research through design) positions serious gaming as a research instrument, with two possible applications. For an issue where there is a high degree of clarity on the nature and direction of the objective, a serious game (as a product) can be used as a research instrument. The focus then lies on working towards an already defined solution. For an issue that seems ambiguous or needs further exploration we can use serious gaming (as a process), whereby the focus lies on exploring the issue itself.

Research about serious gaming (research of design) is research into the phenomenon of serious gaming itself and the use of serious games as interventions for research or education. This research can take three forms. From a methodological perspective research is done into the end-to-end process of serious gaming (design as process), from a product perspective research is done into the design of serious games (design as form), and from a results perspective research is done into the effects of serious gaming and serious games as interventions in learning or change processes.

Research approaches within the Serious Gaming Triangle