A range of existing outdoor, tabletop and card games offer opportunities for specific in-depth training on topics as broad as diversity and ethical practice.
What is serious about playing games?
As Huizinga pointed out in 1938, playing is both by definition non-serious and yet requires serious attention. Games develop a structured form from play, yet maintain their existence as activities set apart from normal everyday life. In such ‘magic circles’ we can experiment with different rules and norms, safe from ‘real’ consequences yet resulting in serious effects.
How can playing games support our learning and development?
According to Argyris and Schön, our approaches to action in the world are made up of patterns of what we say and patterns of what we do. These two sets of patterns often have some relationship but are not fully aligned. Yet we might not be fully aware of the differences! General play with structured reflection can help develop better self-awareness of our theories-in-use or patterns of action in order to identify routes for action. Encouraging playfulness can also help build resilience against change, great for organisations in fast-paced environments.
Specific skill training
Games can model specific skills, from resource management to general strategy, which may be enhanced through collaborative or competitive play. There are even games to enhance non-verbal communication, to improve empathy, or to support learning about mental health first-aid. The use of adapted games selected for the purpose in a structured workshop ensure that participants focus on valuable take-aways.
A wide range of games focus on a specific theme, such as espionage, ecology, pathogen outbreak, or even management of specific businesses and public services. Specific gamification products and marketing rely on this type of learning. Selecting games with a highly developed and accurate theme offer participants the opportunity to expand their knowledge of that particular subject matter.
What games should I play and do I need a facilitator?
In many cases, identifying a suitably skilled or themed game or engaging in general play in a reflective manner will offer a route to development. However, a facilitator can help you identify suitable games and adaptations or design and supply additional reflective exercises to accompany them. Seriously Learned can also offer support in the development of games with specific learning outcomes.
If you are interested in game facilitation or design on the above themes or would like a engage in a broader discussion around how this could benefit your business or organisation, please get in touch using the contact form below.