Do You Have A Great Idea For A Game?

Have you ever been in a learning situation as a learner or as a consultant experiencing the content presented to be boring? Or you don’t see the relevance and objectives for the learning situation you are in….

Have you ever been bored and not knowing why you are participating in the workshop? Probably you have because according to Towards Maturity: learning-benchmark 2019 the biggest reason for resistance to learning Is related to content.

Towards Maturity: learning-benchmark 2019 the biggest reason for resistance to learning Is related to content.

You probably stayed in the learning situation due to respect for the designer, consultant or just because you are polite. That’s great and important for the culture in your organization.

But you need to bring your thoughts back to the L&D people who need to get the feedback from you to become even better at what they are doing already: Trying to create value for the organization they represent. This means your feedback is important to get the numbers above down.

I´m a game designer spending my entire life working with games and corporate learning around the globe. I see an increasing fight for time spent on learning.

I don´t mean time spent in workshops you participate in. Workshops can easily be improved to meet specific needs and solve specific skill gaps. They might be more fun and engaging by using other methods than powerpoint and talks that we all know are oldies and outdated tools in workshops (but still the most used tools).

In the learning industry, we have solid knowledge and research about how to design workshops involving participants and heightening the value in terms of transferring the learning into value in your everyday work life. You will find a few references at the end of this blog on how to transfer learnings and engagement in learning.

What I like to put forward here is the need for curation of user-generated content in any learning design.

It is obvious to everyone that any learning design needs to reflect a real problem we experience. If that’s the case, the more engaged we will be in the learning put in front of us. Being engaged in learning means it will be more likely that you can get the 5 minutes from the learner to reinforce the learning and spread out your learning design to increase the value of the learnings.

Those 5 minutes and the engagement from the learner is key to generate value…..

As a learning game designer, I have had to shift my role from being the content creator and game mechanic designer to only design software allowing our clients and users to design games relevant to a specific need within the organization.

Today we at Actee experience one game being build every day… this means someone is using Actee and our online games and learning tools software to address specific needs in the organization. To me, this also means that Actee is not a content creator anymore. We deliver software to create learning, cool design and content on the fly. And delivering software instead of designing games has a very positive side effect of being much more relevant for the learner than if we did the game development and content. The reason for that is that the people who are overseeing a specific change process, are much better equipped to make a game that is relevant to the people engaged in the change.

Let me give you some ideas on how to build content related online games using Actee.

When building a game - 4 key components become important.


The Storyline

Imagining your company wants to work with the 17 UN sustainability goals. The storyline can then be written to fit the exact situation for those affected by the goals. Opening up for a close context reflection on how the goals relate to and can affect the everyday work life.


The Game Interventions (Choices).

In the game, you can solve a specific situation within the game by applying interventions. The interventions (choices) can reflect the exact opportunities the organization is putting forward to employees. This means each action is easily transferred and recognized by the player and can be easily transferred to real value after playing the game. Or the actions can be tested in the game to see what outcomes can be expected in real life. A simulation of interventions.


The Content

You can incorporate the specific theories and organizational models you want in your game. And why do that?  

You do this when you want to align the Actee games with the general set of theories used in other programs of L&D. But even better, the modes and theories can be used as the foundation for a personal profile of the player. The player can then be measured for engagement purposes. We as humans like to know what we look like compared to others. And the profile can also be customized as the game is being created– both the layout of the profile and the information provided can be customized.


The Stakeholders

People you meet in the game and the resources available become a realistic part of the context relation. The closer the game context and people are to everyday work life situations the more likely the player is to transfer learnings to value. So, make the people really in the game.       


These were my thoughts about games being built using the Actee software.  If you like to create your own game, you only need to know:

It's free and it's easy.

Just sign up and create a partner admin module. Go to the game builder section and make a copy of one of the games available and start customizing your own game. If you need help just hit our Actee/partner site from our homepage there plenty of cool game design partners ready to share ideas. 


Here are some references to transfer of learnings:

Haskell, R. E. (2000). Transfer of learning: Cognition and instruction. Academic Press.

Wahlgren, B. (2010). Voksnes læreprocesser. Akademisk Forlag.

Wahlgren, B., & Aarkrog, V. (2012). Transfer: Kompetence i en professionel sammenhæng. Aarhus universitetsforlag. / news / blogs

Here are some references to other cool game designer books:

Gudiksen, S., & Sørensen, L. (2017, June). Value-based Leadership: Game Tool as Bridge Maker. In ISPIM Innovation Symposium (p. 1). The International Society for Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM).

Hanghøj, T., & Henriksen, T. D. (2011). På vej mod en spildidaktik. Refleksioner over at undervise om og med spil. Cursiv, 8, 103-122.

Kapp, K. M. (2012). The gamification of learning and instruction: game-based methods and strategies for training and education. John Wiley & Sons.

McGonigal, J. (2011). Reality is broken: Why games make us better and how they can change the world. Penguin.

Sebation, Schwägele (2014) Back to hen future of gaming. .Bertelsmann Verlag.