Over the past month I have been fortunate to be exposed to so many accomplished creative educators, artists, computer science and other academics who are engaged in what Jane McGonigal said was a better way to change the world. At Serious Play Conference ( June 22-26) and Games for Change Festival I witnessed amazing examples of not games that were specifically designed to create impactful behavioral change in the way people relate to one another. The list of games, programs I have seen were done by people who embrace the notion that games can make us better and lead to behavioral change to heal the world.
Serious Games or Transformative games are the type of games you will that create long lasting impact on the player and cause them to think about the action they are taking either on the board game or online through 2D, 3D, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality or even XR.
This pandemic has provided us a moment to pause and reflect on what are we doing as educators. Are we building lessons that encourage students to fail, try again until they succeed? Do we provide students with immediate feedback on the action they have taken in the lesson or assignment done? Do the students always feel that the education system is fair and it works for them and choose to wholeheartedly engage with the system with excitement? Are the lessons we build engaging each and every learner in their their optimum level allowing them to be in the zone where they are not bored and doing work which is not overly taxing but challenging them enough to push themselves harder? Are we enabling students to use their imagination and get lost in the characters of history, Science, the Arts, Literature, etc. and aspire to reach their ambitions? Do we build school structures where students have the freedom to choose the path leading them to the level of knowledge in a specific filed they choose? Do we build lesson that allow collaboration between students where their shared decisions will be their own in both successes and failures?
All these questions are answering by game designers who build the structures into the game systems that are beautifully designed by artists who provide an outer layer of costumes, story lines, building tools to help the player create and collaborate.
“You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”
As a library media specialist I am starting to see how I internalize what I have heard, saw and witnessed in the sessions I attended. I have so much more to view from all the sessions I have not been able to attend since they have been recorded and there is so much more I would like to consume and process.
What I know for certain is that in the near future I will be first updating the Social Emotional Resource section of the online portal and add many of the games that can help the students that are feeling stressed at the moment have additional creative resources to cope with the current situation. I will start to compartmentalize all the resources that I have found for both my vocational and academic staff to consider implementing within their regular lessons and curriculum and lastly I will start developing my own ideas of how we move forward to use games to significantly impact character building, critical thinking and reading contemplation/deep reading into our literacy program.