Board games’ golden age: Sociable, brilliant and no screens required (thank you)
At present, a revolution is gaining speed and it looks like bringing humans back together. Without their phones and greatly prized connectivity, around a table, talking, laughing, competing and…learning. Organisations today aren’t just looking for greater acumen in their staff, they are looking for greater connection of people and their ideas.
Table top games are of course not new, but the latest surge in popularity for them and the corresponding rise in their quality is refreshing. Especially in an age when digital gaming is king. The Guardian suggests that “the past four years have seen board game purchases rise by between 25% and 40% annually”, which is great news for believers in the power of social learning.
How this medium is used for learning in a professional context requires some thought, and of course instructional design application. However in our favour is a world of game mechanics, rules, stories, themes, objectives, game boards and pieces to gain a greater learning result than digital alternatives. Note: we are talking about games ranging from Pictionary to Cards Against Humanity to Settlers of Catan. The same board games you have enjoyed over a glass of wine with friends, not just the Dungeons and Dragons games your 40 year old man-child cousin plays in a dark room.
This is not an anti-technology protest; the same Guardian article does cite the role of social networks and online reviews for games as a contributor to the rise in popularity of table top games. For example, the Geek and Sundry multimedia company have over a million subscribers and publish daily table top game reviews to their audience. The challenge for learning professionals and organisations is to strike the right balance between ‘connectivity’ and ‘connectedness’ and look at whether a blend of learning products is right for achieving desired learning goals.
At Sysdoc we have created both table top and digital learning based games and have seen great success with both approaches. When organisations strive for greater connection between functions, more considered decision making, increased sharing of experience and joint problem solving, social learning through table top games provides a great, and ever-greater popular medium to do this.
Articles and channels on the table top revolution:
Excellent Guardian articlehttp://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/nov/25/board-games-internet-playstation-xbox
Dopamine and games – Liking, learning, or wanting to play?http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/BenLewisEvans/20130827/198975/Dopamine_and_games__Liking_learning_or_wanting_to_play.php
Geek and sundry channel on YouTubehttps://www.youtube.com/user/geekandsundry
Article title is a reference to Owen Duffy's “Board games' golden age: sociable, brilliant and driven by the internet”, The Guardian, November 25, 2014
Latest blog postsSee all blog posts
Why work in our Digital Enablement capability?
Digital Enablement is a fancy way of describing how technology can support and enable organisations to work smarter, flex faster and generally make day to day employee life better through effective use of technology.
Process Excellence – more relevant than ever
Love it or loathe it, process is an integral part of every industry and it is going nowhere. I work as a consultant who operates within the Process Excellence and Transformational Change space and almost all issues and problem statements, I see my clients face across industries can start to be solved, or at least improved, with well-defined and understood processes. These processes in turn facilitate value-adding change, in line with business strategy.
What is your ‘why’?
I was trying to think at the weekend, as to why I work for Sysdoc. Of course, like any company, we want to drive people to approach us and be bought into our brand, but it is not always that easy. One thing I always found difficult when I was searching for a new job, was knowing what a company was truly like. We see so many hiring campaigns and videos of people laughing, deep in thought, grouped together or socialising over drinks, but that is an absolutely impossible way to find out what the company culture is like.