We have experience of mixing storytelling with game mechanics, creating experiences that are both games and stories, for example in the shape of Role Playing Games. Games are excellent education tools for both children and adults because of the ability of gameplay to stimulate motivation, create engagement and develop skill. Games and gaming in an engaging storyworld activily involve the students in the learning process and make them yearn for knowledge. The reward system and the practise of giving students a mission and sometimes putting them in a fictitious environment and in someone else’s shoes fosters interest and empathy and possibly make them forget they’re actually studying.
Games can help researchers experiment theories, functioning as test scenarios or mechanisms for collective intelligence and creativity to solve problems. In the game Foldit, more than 57 000 gamers helped scientists at the University of Washington folding virtual proteins in new ways that could help cure cancer or prevent Alzheimers. The players outperformed supercomputers and performed more than half of the game’s challenges quicker, and were all listed as co-authors of a research paper in the prestigious scientific journal Nature.
Games provide a model for testing unusual ideas and roles in organizations and businesses in a playful way that helps releasing creativity as well as an effective way of harnessing and organizing collective intelligence to solve problems and come up with ideas in unexpected ways. The game mechanism transports participants and problems out of their real circumstances and re-present them in a fictitious setting which enables problem solving, confrontation and re-evaluation of deadlocked structures of power or values without personal prestige or established negative group-alliances standing in the way. Games can help defining the groupstructure, but also change it, as well as strengthen communication, collaboration and creativity.
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