Do you want your learners to collaborate? To demonstrate leadership skills? To drive towards a goal? To evaluate and analyze situations before committing to a decision? To value the perspectives of others?
Then you definitely want them playing games.
Most of us have probably played Monopoly. You know, the strategic decision-making, asset-leveraging, and negotiation skills tool?
What’s that you say? Monopoly is a kid’s game where the biggest decision you make is whether you want to be the thimble or the dog? And it’s just a game, because you roll dice, and the dice determine what happens?
Well, let’s think about that. Yes, Monopoly has an element of luck (so does real life!). But what drives a winning strategy in Monopoly?
- Strategic decisions on what assets to purchase
- How to leverage those assets by improving them and driving larger ROI
- Building alliances that enhance your ability to compete
- Negotiating with others until you’ve maximized your revenue stream
In fact, the winner of a Monopoly game is usually the player who has the greatest strategic vision (which properties to acquire and improve) and the best negotiating skills (at some point, you’re going to need to sweet-talk other players into selling or trading you their properties).
Does your audience need any of those skills?
But let’s not stick with old school board games. Today’s Role-Play Games (RPGs) and Alternate Reality Games (ARGs) are not the single-user joystick games of years past. They require collaboration, team building, smart use of resources, strategy, and follow-through. And the most successful RPG players also tend to be great leaders and team-builders.
So am I recommending that we commit large swaths of business time to playing Monopoly and World of Warcraft? Not really (although that would be fun!), but I am recommending that we identify and utilize the elements that make these games so effective: (more…)