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.

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.

Screenshot 2017-03-07 10.43.30

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

GameChangers CPD


Referring back to my post on the Remixing Play into a Game Plan workshop; there is a huge value in going back to basics and harnessing the power of creative thinking towards solving real challenges, topics or issues. From the OEB workshop, we have been asked to run a taster workshop for a large executive training organisation CEDEP France. It was included as part of their faculty workshop, where the associate trainers from the different countries came together. It was a daunting prospect to preach to those who are seasoned trainers, lecturers, academics and consultants.  Both myself and Samantha Clarke enjoyed the experience.

The reflection session was interesting, where the faculty members recognised that the use of play and games in training is all about nurturing creative mindsets that will influence practice and outcomes. The reflections also include the fact that they were amazed at how quickly they came up with a shared solution even though they were from different backgrounds and interests. And one group registered a domain name for their gameplan, and sought investments from the others. But most importantly, the session was fun and playful.

And indeed “Individuality is Important for Collective Creativity“- which is the tagline for our ‘What is your Story?’ initiative!

GameChangers is not about creating a product but it focuses on creating an experience; an experience that will foster team work, creative and innovative thinking inspired by playful and gameful mechanics. But the process most of the time produces tangible outcomes.