We are not talking about the adaptation of the usual suspects like Monopoly or Trivial Pursuit. Rather the creation of board games for learning that leverage the sensibilities from off-beat and innovative games such as Settlers of Catan, Forbidden Island and Pandemic to name a few. Games that encourage critical thinking, prioritization of action and optimization of limited resources. Issues faced by managers, executives and all levels of employees on a daily basis. Issues isolating and alienating managers, supervisors and leaders. Carefully crafted board games can break through the isolation and let organizational leaders, managers and supervisors know they are not alone in these challenges while simultaneously teaching skills related to resource allocation, prioritization and critical thinking. Board games provide insights into systems thinking that are hard to achieve through conventional instructional methodologies.Board games, like card games, have a social component and a leveling effect. When you play a game, everyone starts at the same level, no one has a distinct advantage and everyone can have an equal opportunity at success.Looking at so-called Eurogames or German-style board games(as they are sometime called) provides a rich, complex and multifaceted game tradition that can be easily mined for the creation of learning games. Some of the concepts from these games include elements such as:
Randomized board layouts. The “board” or gamespace is actually a series of tiles that are configured differently each time the game is played. This allows for variation and encourages replayability.Multiple actions or activities per turn. A player can do several actions all in one turn such as trade cards with other player, trade-in cards, move from one space to another, team up with another player or remove pieces from the board. This forces players to prioritize activities and carefully weigh the pros and cons of several possible actions. When faced with multiple actions, players need to chose the best actions and the order in which those actions be undertaken to maximize impact.Cooperation rather than competition. The focus is on players working together to solve problems or dilemmas posed by the games instead of trying to crush or beat an opponent. The idea in many of these games is to get out of a bad situation like curing an epidemic in Pandemic or escaping an island in an escape room game like Exit:
Creation as a theme. In a game like Ticket to Ride, the idea is to create a rail road empire. In a game like Catan, the goal is to build a community and in the game Agricola, the idea is to build up your farm. In organizations, the goals are usually to build a client base, build a support operation or actually build product. The parallels are striking when looking at building needs in an organization. The concept can be easily adapted to board games.Equal participation until the end. In many of these game types, there is a turn limit or a time limit. The games provide opportunities for every player to be involved until the end. บาคาร่า In a game like Monopoly, if your opponent has a bunch of hotels and you only own one Rail Road property, you are pretty much doomed. The goal of many of these games is to keep all players involved until the end. This allows equal participation and ensures the learning process extends for the entire game play experience
Integrated activities are required to be successful. As The Atlantic article so eloquently states a player “works to acquire A so they can invest in B, so that they can trade for C, so they can build a D, which in turn pumps out more A.” The games require players to perform in-game analysis of the consequences, trade-offs and critical paths relating one action to another. The games often models of complex systems which require the player to understand how the works and the trade-off inherent in the system. Much like actual work environments and economic systems of which many employee are an integral part.In a world where people are feeling more and more isolated and alienated due to being constantly connected to digital devices and show less and less empathy and connection to fellow humans, a board game or card game provides a connection. It’s human to sit at a table facing others and interacting in a shared experience. If designed well, it can be a humanizing and joining together activity (not to mention the learning benefits).