Video Games and Collaboration
Virtual reality and game technologies have the ability to focus collaboration around meaningful experiences, offering the widest range of tangible interactions that mirror the real world. Whether or not the context or narrative of the game is realistic, players are time and again asked to solve real problems in order to advance.
The power of games to teach collaboration skills has been noted by global education leader Finland. This year the country is dramatically revamping their education delivery around topics, rather than subjects. Gone will be the insistence on the separateness of academic subjects, and rather a focus on how each discipline works with the others. “There will be a more collaborative approach, with pupils working in smaller groups to solve problems while improving their communication skills.”
Last year, I was invited to submit a white paper by education colleagues in Finland, for the leveraging of virtual environments and games to augment and support this effort at the undergraduate level. They have already identified gaming as a natural model for introducing early students to the methodology:
“the pre-school sector is also embracing change through an innovative project, the Playful Learning Centre, which is engaged in discussions with the computer games industry about how it could help introduce a more “playful” learning approach to younger children.”
The gaming framework becomes a teachable paradigm for further, advanced inquiry and group participation. The realization of the Gamification becomes a true cultural meme, communicated passively and accepted widely.
The Finnish example is a great indicator that the most tangible ways to teach and communicate effectively are directly supported by organic gaming constructs and mechanics. We know that these mediums are also powerful tools for co-creation, team problem solving, and interactive learning. As they become staples of educational delivery, a true learning revolution will emerge.
What do you need to collaborative on most, and can game technologies help?
Ken is the Founder and CEO of Sage Immersive Realities Inc. He is a visionary interactive designer working with an international team of serious gaming professionals who are defining the leading edge of virtual reality and meaningful gaming experiences.