Games co-creation: using local content, unearthing creativity, designing experiences
Updated: Feb 15, 2022
By Alessia Messuti / Innovation and Education for ITCILO
Since 2017, ITCILO in partnership with the Humanitarian Leadership Academy (Academy) has been using Gamoteca as a co-creation tool during learning hackathons and workshops aimed at designing and developing enhanced learning and capacity-strengthening interventions for humanitarian workers, volunteers and teachers.
Within this context, we define co-creation as a process for the collaborative development of new learning and training concepts, solutions and products.
“Co-creation is a form of collaborative innovation: ideas are shared and improved together, rather than kept to individuals.”
When it is about designing new training products or learning interventions, we often realize (as instructional designers and trainers) that an enormous amount of knowledge and content is already accessible and available.
The challenge is not about creating content that is relevant and meaningful, rather than creating learning experiences that leverage on existing content and ideas.
In this context, co-creation of games through Gamoteca aims at dealing with the changing needs of training providers and institutions and attempts at providing a flexible tool for combining learning objects with real-life learning activities.
There are many ways to go about co-creation, here is how ITCILO and the Academy have implemented co-creation in face-to-face and online events through design thinking techniques:
Trainers self-organize in small groups, who share similar challenges and deal with common stakeholders. This allows them to map the needs, challenges, opportunities and desires of the selected audiences.
Based on first analysis results, trainers further define the objective of a new learning intervention by elaborating on the state-of-the-art of training and services, on bad practices and good practices.
Ideation is about free brainstorming on how to match needs and objectives. What content is already available? In which format? How is it useful? What can be improved? What type of interaction do need to be triggered?
Build prototypes means making ideas tangible. Trainers are encouraged to define a game script by working on posters and flipcharts. By creating a visual manifestation of their game ideas, they are creating a new training experience. The prototype can then be easily transferred to Gamoteca from which the new training module can be deployed and tested immediately.
Prototyping a game is about visualizing the journey of players. In other words, it is about crafting a game story. What information does the player need to receive? What type of instructions will be useful? What content can be used? Draw your game screen by screen in a story format where each chapter has an introductory section, a call to action (reflection, comprehension, evaluation, creation) and a feedback.
Testing is equal to playing. Trainers can share their game in a tangible way with other colleagues, simulate a training situation, evaluate the impact of their game, collect feedback from users, identify strengths & weaknesses. The trainers sometimes use this feedback to iterate immediately, by incorporating the feedback and retesting.