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We all have different personality types, and so different people will enjoy different types of games. Can you think of a game you most enjoy playing? Do you know what category this game would fall under? Understanding what type of game we enjoy playing will contribute to understanding which learning styles and methods suit us best, and have the best impact on our self-development and learning.

Games are a powerful catalyst in driving personal progress, stimulation and development of cognitive ability. Games are fast becoming one of the major influences in organizations in the reshaping of business designs, and training. This drives the shift in thinking from functional and transactional business design, towards the embrace of a more human-centered approach.

For a number of years, I have designed games for organizational learning and development initiatives. I have used a simple framework of 5 game types which each drive different learning outcomes. These can be applied in learning, teamwork, and promoting different thinking perspectives. These 5 game types are simulation, adventure, role-play, strategy, and quiz.

These are games which closely simulate the real world with scenarios and a decision architecture, to explore the key elements of a situation. Game simulations usually simplify and provide immersive experience for players.

Simulation games seek to achieve:

  • Exploration of new issues from a different perspective and to create new mental models
  • Development of communication and development of team dynamics and conflict handling
  • Behaviour modelling and allows players to appreciate realistic experiences while gathering experience and practice in a safe environment.
  • Allows for various disciplines and social sciences to be combined for learning and development of skill sets.
  • Can break the ice and be used to create a group identity through shared experience.

Examples of simulation games are:

  • Business: Simulations allow for systems and business models to be experienced.
  • Entertainment: The Sims
  • Technical: Flight Simulators

Adventure games are set-up as a single player format (*protagonist) in an interactive story with a series of puzzles and problem-solving tasks. Players usually unlock the game piece by piece. These types of games include a series of smaller problems and/or gathering of information to reach an ultimate goal or objective.

Adventure games seek to achieve:

  • Development of reasoning and problem-solving skills
  • Development of lateral and cognitive thinking skills
  • Application of extrinsic knowledge to solve problems and puzzles

Examples of adventure games are:

  • Business: Amazing Race
  • Entertainment: Escape Room, video games (excluding action)

In role-play games, players assume a particular role and interact with other characters. Role-play games allow for scenario-based concepts with certain behaviours to be demonstrated and decisions to be made. In the virtual world Role Play Games (RPG) are the foundation of the PC game, and with increased technology these have become more sophisticated.

Role-play games seek to achieve:

  • Exploration of new issues from a different perspective and to create new mental models
  • Development of communication
  • Development of team dynamics and conflict handling
  • Interaction and understanding of human dynamics
  • Behaviour modelling

Examples of role-play games are:

  • Sales skills
  • Customer service skills

In strategy games, players participate in the management of resources and units, with a decision-making tree which can influence the outcome of the game. Players’ decisions are uncoerced and a game can be won based on decisions made.

Strategy games seek to achieve:

  • Improvement in planning and organizing skills
  • Experience and skills acquisition through discussion and trying out new approaches
  • Development of decision-making and tactics
  • Awareness of individual and group thinking in a team

Examples of strategy games are:

  • Entertainment and Business: Risk, Chess, and War Games

In quiz games, a series of questions and puzzles are set up to test knowledge and skill. Quizzes can also be used to test improvement in knowledge and provide group competition.

Quiz games seek to achieve:

  • Testing of knowledge and content

Examples of quiz games are:

  • Entertainment: Quizup, Trivial Pursuit

Summary

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