Games are versatile. They’re not only great for developing those critical thinking and problem solving skills and traits that can be critical factors in making oneself a success but they are ideal in nurturing the more social and emotional areas of learning, such as confidence and the ability to express yourself.
At Imagination Gaming, we work with a number of individuals who, for a variety of reasons, have found the real world tough to deal with and so have removed themselves from much of it. Some of these individuals may not feel comfortable leaving the house, wouldn’t interact easily with people and would certainly not put themselves in situations where they needed to discuss topics or issues or open up to others.
The individuals with which we work are all bright, have imagination and creativity and great senses of humour, it’s just that they didn’t know how or don’t have the confidence to express that sometimes. When starting our projects we are asked if we know how to reach out and begin to involving them in, not only in our activities, but the other options available to them. We think we do.
The games we use in schools aren’t going to work here, there individuals are often too old for many of this games and are highly capable so we need something that presents a higher level of challenge, is going to look the part yet will also bring the individuals together, talking and debating problems between them while having a great time in a fun environment.
We have several examples of the games we use but we are going to focus today on one of our students favourites. We first started using Cryptozoic’s DC deckbuilder in our work a couple of years ago. From the moment we did these guys were hooked. Loving the artwork, the simple yet involving game play and the constant series of expansions that would challenge their perceptions of the game. When the cooperative expansions arrived, the CRISIS mode as it’s known, then it really started to make an impact.
This cooperative version of the game encouraged the individuals to not only work together but creates discussion, debate, the managing of risk and a great amount of humour. The number of times things would go wrong would often reduce the group to uncontrollable laughter, something which could be imagined only a short time ago. This ability to fail while having fun was an important stepping stone in their progression to a fit-to-work state.
This has then led the group to play role-play games, try other systems and games through the self-confidence and social ease they now feel. It’s also a great game for them to be able to teach new entrants to the group as its simple rule set lends itself to a great introductory game for young adults from these backgrounds.
As part of our work these individuals are now trying out other opportunities and activities made available to them. They interact far more easily and are looking at their own futures and seeing that they are bright and full of possibilities. They are also believing that they are able to fit in to the world and they have something to offer.
Games such as the DC Deckbuilder have helped make this a reality through our work. It is a game that we will continue to use to reach out to the young people we work with and expect it to keep providing great memories, fun gameplay and an entertaining challenge for years to come.
If anyone should wish to know more or has any questions please feel free to ask and contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and i would be more than happy to discuss further.
Thanks to Cryptozoic for making such a great game and i look forward to trying out the latest set with our friends and colleagues at work.
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