GameChangers goes on tour: Part 2 @COVCampus


Our 2 day stint at CU Scarborough campus was brilliant and it was great that we get to bring back the GameChangers bus to Coventry. It did raise a few eyebrows but it was brilliant to see students engaging with our activities in the bus despite the horrible wet day!

GameChangers is essentially an initiative to promote and embed game design thinking through remixing playful approaches and techniques in the teaching and learning of the Coventry University Group. Situated under the Game Science research and development we are leading at the university, GameChangers is a practice-based instrument for us to explore, apply and implement play, games, serious games and gamification as a set of digital and non-digital tools that can be used to help us design engaging learning experiences.

Our next stop is CU London campus. As part of our investigation of learning “geographies” and spaces, we are looking to experiment pop-up creative spaces in London and see how such initiatives could turn ordinary spaces into a more interactive and playful learning environment. This initiative will also link to the spin off Newton funded CreativeCulture, where we are going to create creative spaces for the GameChangers programme at UNIMAS (our Malaysian Partner).

The GameChangers open course will be soft-launched in May, where we will showcase the work of our colleagues who are implementing playful and gameful approaches in their teaching. So watch this space!

 

GameChangers goes on tour: Part 1 @CUScarborough


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The GameChangers programme is an exploratory and experimental programme at Coventry University’s Disruptive Media Learning Lab, where we explore the application and implication of play and games in teaching and learning, specifically in HE. And we are currently going on tour!

As part of the two new spin-offs of the programme, the mobile GameChangers part-funded by HEFCE aims to expand the initiative’s remit to include the other Coventry University campuses (Scarborough, London and Dagenham).

We are currently in CU Scarborough engaging with staff and students (20-21 March 2017) it has been an exciting visit so far. Students are very engaged with the playful approaches of the different play and game-based workshop tasters we are running, such as Thinking with your hands using Lego, Game design and narratives via our associate (Coventry FabLab), Remixing Play into a GamePlan, narratED (What is your story?), etc.

We visited the Sixth Form college in the afternoon on our first day and the reception was also very encouraging. GameChangers was indeed a hit there, especially with the arts and media (graphics) students.

Mobile GameChangers also allows us to investigate new educational “geography”, which includes mobile and ‘pop-up’ creative spaces for fostering creativity and innovation in learning. We will be back in Coventry next (22-23rd) and will also visit our London Campus in May!

A big shout out to the team Helen Keegan, Luca Morini, Oliver Wood and Peter Coleman!!! ACE!

See you soon!

Post-digital transformation via playful and gameful approaches


Living in a digital age includes facing head on options on sophisticated offerings,  cacophony saturations of noise information, divided attention, etc. We tend to be influenced by the latest fad trend and pressure from having to comply to the digital norms can be a bit overwhelming.

However, being too over-driven by technology and the latest trends in digital engagement can take away the value from the “experience” that these technologies intend to foster in the first place.

So how do we cope with this? No real answer really – try switching off and hide in a tranquil forest somewhere? This actually reminds me of yo-yo dieting. I believe in enjoying stuff in smaller portions.

Oh what am I getting to with this Friday brain-fart  post? Well, I’ve been thinking about post-digital transformation of mindsets that will help mould a practice that will act as a conduit between old custom and practices into new and exciting territories. It is about taking inspirations from old and tested practices and remix them into new solutions. And how such practice can help us repurpose rather than re-invent (?).

How can we do it playfully? Taking inspirations from the methods that I have tested, implemented and published within the GameChangers context, I am wondering if collectively these approaches could help individuals to discover and reflect on their playful experiences and use these to inform the design of the experience they wish to facilitate – either for their customers, students, patients, clients, etc.  Note that some of these methods that I developed are currently being adopted and adapted by others. Most recently – the Remixing Play approach (also see workshops at OEB17, Trinidad and CEDEP) was adopted by Adi Montas in her MBA workshop in Guatemala (2017).

With these perspectives, I have drafted a concept that I will test with real participants. The transformation process should start with the discovery and onboarding stage to ensure that they will invest in the process – mindsets transformation is not a short term feat- so the more they invest in the initial experience, the more they will invest in further activities. The draft idea is as presented below:

It would be interesting to hear any feedback on this. I am currently working on some strategy with some European partners on ways to implement this with different stakeholders.

What is your story? Cards – get them here


Screenshot 2016-05-06 18.57.38The ‘What is your story?’ cards were developed based on  Experience Design concept. It is my firm belief in focusing on a more human-centred design of solutions to real challenges.

Emphasising on understanding what experiences we want to facilitate will help us design effective solution or product. When you create an engaging interface to your services, you will be able to onboard your users better and faster and they will engage with your ‘content’ more. Personal investments in the onboarding stage will help them to invest more in what is on offer. However, it is key to ensure that level of participation is maintained with continuous engaging experience.

When I collaborated with Lauren Heywood on the design of the cards, we decided to remix the experience design approach into a more generic and playful solution for using story telling and narratives to enhance individual creativity towards collective intelligence. When used in a group of four for instance, creating narratives around the same set of cards will showcase the richness of ones experience and background that influence the stories they tell. And collectively, a shared narrative or solutions can be achieved.

 

And these cards have been used by peers internationally  and in many different iterations. They were designed to be generic enough to allow you to formulate your own games, workshops, tutorials, and best of all, they are free to download and use (CC by NC 4.0).

Please tweet us if you are using or adopting these cards. Would love to hear from you!

Tweet: @sarnab75 #GChangers #PlayRemixed

Remix Play Summit 2017


remix-play-gchangers-bannerThe Remix Play Summit has finally materialised and play-personified Feb 15th, 2017 at the Disruptive Media Learning Lab! The initial idea was concocted last year – see a brief introduction to the Remixing Play concept. Since then we have carried out our Remixing Play approach with various groups at the university as well as internationally (including Germany, France, Trinidad and Tobago). And the key highlight is the main celebration of Play in HE at the Remix Play Summit 2017. A huge shout out to the GameChangers and DMLL team, who  coordinated the event, especially Helen Keegan, Oliver Wood, Cathryn Thompson-Goodwin, Lauren Heywood, Debra James, Luca Morini, Samantha Clarke… And thanks to all the speakers and everyone who participated. And thanks to HEFCE for part-funded some of the GameChangers activities.

The event went brilliantly with clear progressions from the context for play and games through to play in HE and practical insights into gameful and playful design, thanks to our featured speakers – The Godfather of the Game Industry (Ian Livingston CBE), The Godfather of play studies (Bernie de Koven), play for HE researcher and activist (Professor Nicola Whitton) and a well known researcher of gameful design, whose definition of ‘gamification’ is widely accepted and quoted by others (Dr. Sebastian Deterding).

The event was very interactive and there was no dull moments!

Please also have a look at Daryl Peel’s fantastic summary of the day.

The summit also included showcases of the various playful and gameful toolkits and methods which have been developed and/or implemented under the GameChangers programme (including the EscapED, What is your story, Lego). More toolkits will be provided on the GameChangers website soon (still being revamped as we speak).

The summit has also served as a good platform for the Newton CreativeCulture UK-Malaysia project. The Malaysian team was inspired by the event and provides a strong introduction to the adaptation of the GameChangers approach in Malaysia.

The event attracted 63 staff and students and 41 external peers. The Summit’s twitter hashtag #PlayRemixed was also trending on the day in the UK – charted at no 3 on the trending list! A great feat! And we have also reached a huge audience. Thanks to Debra James for the TweetReach snapshot below.

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Here’s to the next instalment of Remix Play Summit 2018!