“All work and no play, makes jack a dull boy”
Humans are inherently playful and games have been considered an integral part of an individual’s growth. Man started playing games with his mind and then with his tribe that he belonged. The tribe got together and hunted and competed with each other for their catch. Since then, humans have enjoyed playing games and have learnt from the games that they have played.
Games provide a risk free environment to explore and experiment and hence offer a good platform for learning. An individual while playing a game, experiments with various options presented and takes decisions in a dynamic environment. Sometimes the decisions are in favour of the players and beneficial and on other times, they tend to loose and therefore fail. Failure in a gaming environment, acts as a catalyst to reason and reflect and try out other options. The individual then not only competes with others, he constantly competes with himself to improve upon his previous score and hence is in a constant process of learning.
A well designed game, transports players to a micro world of strategies, where they don the hat of a protagonist to solve a problem of epic proportions. Instantaneous feedback and ability to strategize and collaborate with others, improves a player’s decision making, planning and collaborative skills. Serious game provides a holistic experience, with equal focus given to cognitive and affective learning.
Serious Games, designed using strong pedagogical foundation act inherently as assessments. The gaming engine records decision taken by players at every instant of time and provides the opportunity to create a profile of the player. The assessments are based on evidences captured at various instances of the game and are quite comparable to how it is done in real world.
With dwindling attention span, trainers are often confronted with the tough task of captivating their audience. There is strong need to change the focus from an instructor centric approach to a learner centric approach and allow the learner to experiment and learn in a risk free environment, while the instructor facilitates the learning process. The millennials are born gamers and would like a method that they are comfortable.
Life is a game and we are players, let us unleash our playful side….Learning can be fun!