Games and puzzles are as old as time. Well, maybe not time but they certainly date back. They are typically associated with fun and playtime, however many games have an educational underlay. Since the educational factors are masked by the aspect of fun, children learned brain-training, cognitive and social skills by playing games.
I spent my final year and am still working now on an educational game and have found learning and improving for children is much easier when the 'fun' element is part of the occasion. In that sense, why can't the same be true for adults? In the past couple of years colouring books have become the adult therapy; a sentence that if I had said a decade ago would have been laughable. Could delving into our childhood and child-like attitudes open our minds? Could resorting back to these playful antics allow us to learn in the same ways we did as children? In that case should education or impact design have some sort of a playful factor? Maybe a light-hearted, inclusive approach could lead the path for more informed decisions.
Are some games purely instructional and do we abide by the rules of them and never question them? Are these seemingly innocent realms of joy shaping a totalitarian system? When I phrase it so dramatically it may sound deluded but maybe we should be designing to have people think outside the box and create their own rules when the ones set do not meet their ethics. Something to think about.
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