#PlayingForReal in Helsinki

logoThe ErasmusPlus Playing For Real project is coming to an end (31 August 2016) and the meeting that is currently live in Helsinki is very reflective of what we have achieved and learned within the past 2 years. Gamification has been the main staple for the practice partners as the frontliners engaging with the unemployed adults. See also previous post.

NOTE: the website/online hub is still a work in progress and will be re-designed to include outcomes (downloadable resources, video testimonies, toolkits, etc.) from the project.

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Playing For Real levels CC BY-NC 4.0

Our first meeting was pretty amusing, with the word ‘gamification’ being rather foreign to most of the partners. Together with Oscar Garcia Panella from CookieBox, we had a great time talking about gamification, the science behind it and the practical potential of such an approach in capacity building.From the reflections at the meeting this week, the terms – ‘games’, ‘gamification’ and ‘play’ have been used interchangably, but essentially the Playing For Real project has produced a gamification (leveling up) programme with gameful and playful elements/activities within the stages. The seven step programme piloted in Barcelona (and deployed in the field by the practice partners) is as illusrated. The rationale for the levels was loosely based on the pre-pilot approach tested by the Italian practice partners. The toolbox (design tool, repositories of gameful/playful activities, gamification framework, etc.) to allow our approach to be adapted and adopted will be provided on the final version of the online hub –  by the end of August 2016.

We have also provided a quick and informal introduction to the project concept from the perspectives of three stakeholder types (the unemployed, social worker, local business) in the form of non-linear comics. The arts were developed by a Coventry University’s alumni. Click on the images below:

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I will write another post on the main steps in the leveling up approach, highlighting key lessons learnt from the project but overall, the experience has been positive with practice partners and target stakeholders feeling empowered and equipped to look at difficult situations and explore options and oppotunities in a different way- in a more gradual playful leveling up approach afforded by the Playing For Real gamification framework. Gamification has the benefits of structuring playful interventions in capacity building and this project is (as far as we know) leading the one in non-digital gamification for engaging unemployed adults.