We Honor Outstanding Digital and Board/TableTop Games Used for Training or Education and Other Game-Based Learning Programs, Courses and Applications Made to Existing Platforms. We also Honor Excellence in Peer-Reviewed Research on All Categories of Serious Games.

International Serious Play Awards honor outstanding commercial and student learning products which incorporate game elements and were created for use in education or training.  These can be stand-alone games, sections of other learning products or applications for platforms like Minecraft.  Entries may be made in any of these categories:

  • Digital Entries: Professional  (Including simulations)

  • Digital Entries: Student

  • Tabletop/Board Game Learning Entries: Professional

  • Tabletop/Board Games Learning Entries: Student

Entry categories include: K-12 Education; Higher Education; Healthcare/Medical; Museum/Visitor Centers;  Corporate/Vocational; Military/Government/Military; PreK Education; Non-Profit

Research.  We also award excellence in Peer-Reviewed Research on game-based learning products. This is handled in a separate award program under its own pull down.  

Entry deadline for the International Serious Play Awards is March 1.

Payment by credit card must be received by the deadline for the entry to be evaluated.   An invoice for payment can be requested from

The entry process is in two steps: Entrant Information followed by Submission information.  Please review the full form before submitting. The entry information you provide is given to the judges and is the basis on which they evaluate your entry.

Entry Fees for Digital and Table Top/Board Entries from Professional Studios  (any learning product sold or to be sold commercially)

  • Museum/University Studio/Non Profit/NGO/Govt/Military Org – $300
  • Independent Studio (9 or fewer employees) – $250
  • Ed Tech Teacher, Individual – $200

After the deadline, awards can be submitted for another week for the entry fee plus an additional charge of $100

Student Created Learning Products  The definition of a student digital game is one that was conceived by students and produced with light guidance by college faculty or high school advisors.  Games produced in a university-affiliated studio for sale to the commercial market must be entered into the Professional category.  If the game is given away free, then it can be entered into the student category. 

  • College Student Entry (student of any age. no commercialized products) – $100
  • High School Student (or 15 – 18 years or younger) – $75


Learning Game Product Judging Criteria

Entries are judged on the following elements:

  • Orientation
  • Engagement
  • Interactivity/Feedback
  • Learning Objectives
  • Assessment
  • Aesthetics
  • Gameplay
Note: Digital Entries (Applies to both Professional and Student)

You must provide access to the entry for up to 8 judges. This access (code or link) must be available through June. 

Currently, we do not have the capability to judge:

  • entries requiring high-end technology platforms
  • entries requiring more than 4 hours to judge adequately
  • Streaming entries

Judges must be able to play the entry.  We do not evaluate entries based on a video or demo version.  Links to videos may be submitted as supplemental material.

Learning Tabletop/Board Entry

Entrants for Tabletop/board entries must be willing to send copies to up to FOUR (4) different locations.  Be prepared to have copies ready to ship within a month after entry. The shipping address for tabletop games will be sent to you after your entry form and payment are received or after the deadline. In the case of heavy or expensive games, contact the program manager at:

Write the name of the submitting studio/university/company AND the NAME of the game on external packaging containing your game.

We will accept entries requiring a trained facilitator. Entrant must supply the facilitator in these instances. Additional instructions and rules will be provided to these entrants after the deadline.

Note: If you want your tabletop game returned, you must send the return packaging and a pre-paid voucher to Fed Ex or a similar service along with each copy.


Research Entries

See the separate pull down for our Research Award Program.