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
Lessons from Consortium working
An introduction to my experience At the beginning of this year, I started a new project working with a new client and taking on a new role for a large transformation programme. I have worked alongside other consultancies on previous programmes in the past, but this was a first for me, working within a partnership from the offset.
Why Process Excellence is key for a successful ERP Implementation
I have been reflecting on my experiences working on ERP implementation/upgrade programmes whilst also listening and hearing to what others have to say. I think back to these projects and notice everyone was working hectically towards the programme ‘Go – Live’ and were under the impression that once they achieved this Go - Live then we have successfully implemented a new ERP System and our job is complete. I think many people can agree with me that a Go – Live date is just the start of the journey. We have got to think about the people, culture, education, efficiency in processes and where can we reduce ‘waste’.
Being part of the conversations that need our attention – It’s a Penalty
It is not uncommon for us as humans to shy away from some discussions. It might be too difficult, make us uncomfortable or make us feel as if there is nothing we can do to make a difference. However, sometimes that is all we need to do to encourage change; have the conversation.