This reflection on the design process is in reference to my previous post on the PlayingForReal gamification framework. You can also see a series of comic-based media to illustrate the project concept as well as videos of the testimonies from the practice partners, who adopted the approach in their communities.
The reflection below is an extract from the report I prepared for the project based around the design approach.
The Gamification template has been a vessel within which personalised activities were embedded, leading to the inclusion of stakeholders and beneficiaries in the design, development and pilot process. Key values identified include co-designing, co-curation, co-ownership, personalisation and autonomy.
Participatory approach in programme design
The development process of the gamified programme was participatory and trans-disciplinary, where the trainers (including psychologists in some instances) from the pilot countries and their local participant groups (the unemployed) were involved in the curation and design of the activities embedded within the gamification programme template. Throughout the process, the trainers/practice partners have been up-skilled in the understanding of the gamification structure, the discretization of how to address issues related to the unemployed and capacity building into missions and the relationship of the unemployed journey with the levelling up approach of gamification.
Co-ownership and personalisation
The relatedness and autonomy, which are key to gamification has been demonstrated in the development process, which has led to co-ownership of the gamified capacity building process – trainers and their focus groups, guided by the gamification knowledge partners. These perspectives are reflected by the partners’ feedback and evaluation of the pilot in Barcelona.
Further reflections and future development
The template employed in the pilot can now be further personalised by the local partners to ensure that they will meet the needs and interests of their local groups, also addressing the key issues highlighted by the practice partners and their teams – time, language, relevance, complexity, clarity and the scoring systems. The design and pilot experience should enhance the understanding of the process and would enable them to innovate their existing practice with the unemployed.
These views will be merged with the detail feedback on the design and implementation from the gamification SME partner Oscar Garcia Panella from CookieBox. The full report will also include qualitative synthesis of the feedback from the practice partners and their trainers.
The pilot of the gamification framework in this project has indicated great potential in supporting an embodied experience for addressing sensitive and serious issues of long-term unemployment. The framework aims to not provide a solution but to facilitate the process of renewed and challenged mindsets that will translate into tangible action points (practice) to be taken within one’s situation and/or local community. Existing issues related to the transnational pilot such as time constraints, language barriers, complementarity and clarity of the levels and the relevance/attractiveness of the activities to the participants can be addressed in the actual deployment of the programme in the local community. For further work into applications in other domains, these issues can be ironed out and the programme can be made more specific and localised. There is also a need to evaluate the process long-term in terms of following up on the participants on the impact of the experience to their personal tangible changes and benefits.