The Serious Play Conference deals with the big issues of society, and in a fun way.
- Expertise diversity leads to innovation, the more diverse, the more innovative
- More diversity leads to more conflict, but the conflict sparks useful desirable innovation
- A key characteristic of a leader, one that leads to highly functioning teams, is trust; if the team members believe the leader has their back, they will be considerable more effective.
- Gender and age diversity lead to consistently better results, and, in fact, are more highly associated with success than ethnic diversity
We all know that intellectual knowledge is just a fraction of what we need in order to live, and that historically the knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSAs) were taught through societal institutions such as family, apprenticeship, and religion.
Today, these KSAs can be taught via games. Here are three examples.
Dojo, by GameDesk, helps people learn to regulate their emotions and behaviors. Have you ever wanted
to calm yourself down, or to focus on one thing instead of … squirrel? Instead of trying to learn through reading or listening, you could attach biofeedback devices and learn and practice through Dojo. Imagine if students could learn these skills in schools? You can see how Dojo works in this video.
What if you could learn history through art? How was Picasso’s art influenced by society and historical events, and how did his art reflect on and impact the world around him? Andre Thomas of Texas A&M founded Live Lab to leverage the university’s Game Design students, Professional game designers, and Electronic Arts’ publishing might to create games that excite and motivate students. While Universities often produce games that show results in research trials, that’s where most university projects stop. The goal of Live Lab is to take these prototypes, finish them, and produce and distribute games that are backed up by research.
Or, what if we all had the skills to detect situations that lead to rape and the skills to defuse the situation? Decisions that Matter has been tested with hundreds of college students yielding substantial, if not yet published, results. The game was produced at a cost in excess of $1M through grants from NSF.
With all these games, impact has been proven, what remains unknown is how to get these games into the hands of thousands or millions of students who can benefit, and how do you make these operations sustainable. Those questions are yet to be answered, although we are hoping that Games4Ed can lower the barriers.