Serious games are computer games used as educational technology or as a vehicle for presenting or promoting a point of view. Serious games are intended to provide an engaging, self-reinforcing context in which to motivate and educate the players towards non-game events or processes, including business operations, training, marketing and advertisement. The potential of games for entertainment and learning has been demonstrated thoroughly from research and clearly in the market place. Unfortunately, the investments committed to entertainment dwarfs that which is committed for more serious purposes. Furthermore, game development has become more complex, expensive, and burdened with a long development cycle. In this paper we introduce PlayMancer, a work in progress that aims to overcome such barriers by augmenting existing 3D gaming engines with new possibilities and thusly creating a novel development framework. In section I of this paper we briefly survey the serious games market. In section II we introduce the PlayMancer project and its objectives, whereas in section III we present the platform architecture. Section VI describes an application scenario where a PlayMancer-based game is being used as additional therapeutic tool to treat chronic mental disorders, such as eating disorders and behavioral addiction.
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