What's in a game? More than we thought. While educators have been busy integrating games into traditional classroom curricula for the last decade or so, others have found ways to apply gamification to all sorts of real-world learning situations. We explore a couple of examples below...

On Board

When we think about where the gamification of work is likely to take hold, let’s just say that government is not at the top of our list. Extra kudos, then, to the City of Helsinki, whose “Participation Game” is teaching city workers how to involve citizens in decision-making. Frankly, we had not given much thought to using a board game to drive change, but, honestly, it sounds a lot more fun than most change management approaches we’ve lived through. Check out the rules of the game—and the board itself—to see how Helsinki is innovating through play.

Game Change

Video games can change real life. No, we’re not talking about Grand Theft Auto turning us all into car thieves. Dartmouth media professor Mary Flanagan studies how games can achieve social intervention and help us learn positive real-life solutions by facing in-game situations. Professor Flanagan has developed four key themes for using games to address big issues like recycling and sexual assault. She just presented at Davos, and we hope her power audience took note—surely there are a few major social problems swirling around that could use some positive modeling.

The Play’s the Thing

Despite the panic over screen time, it turns out that 2016 was the biggest year in history for actual, physical board games. We are all for it: we love board games for team-building, ice-breaking, and revealing true personalities. Check out these tips for setting up a great game night and let the play begin.