Playful Design is Serious BusinessApr 28, 2022
Monica Cornetti, MS-EDE
A great deal of research has concluded that play-based learning is genuinely and positively impactful on learning and development, and one can argue that humans learn best when at least one of these four provisions are present and that learners:
- Take an active role in the learning environment
- Are engaged
- Believe the Information is meaningful to them
- Interact in a social context
This means that we learn well when we are mentally active, engaged, social, and can make consequential connections, which are all characteristics of play. Neuroscientists have found that play activates the brain in meaningful ways that rote memorization, testing, lecture, and standard worksheets do not.
Play is a profound biological process. It shapes the brain and makes us smarter and more adaptable. It lies at the core of creativity and innovation, and nearly every one of us starts out playing quite naturally. Whatever “rules” there are to play, we learn from our playmates. And from our play we learn how the world works, and how friends interact.
We accept play as an important part of a healthy child’s development, and as the main opportunity for children to take risks without fear of failure.
At some point as we get older, however, we are made to feel guilty for playing. We are told that it is unproductive, a waste of time, and perhaps even sinful.
At Sententia we do not accept the premise of that argument.
Is it possible that the opposite of play is not work – that they are in fact mutually supportive, and when we stop playing, we stop creating and developing? Could it be that games and gamification are in reality… serious business?
Sometimes the sheer demands of daily living seem to rob us of the ability to play. In a world continuously presenting unique and ever-changing problems, it’s your job as a manager, L&D professional, or adult educator to prepare employees, team members, and students to better understand the opportunities and challenges in the world around us.
The genius of play is that, in playing, we create imaginative new cognitive combinations. And in creating those novel combinations, we find what works.
Play is not the opposite of work and is it possible that, in the long run, work does not work without play?
And that's why we study science and play for great gamification design - perhaps we have a neurological imperative to allow our learners to play.
Now you can have a copy of our Serious Fun. Serious Play. Serious Business. Infographic. Download it now, and share with your friends and colleagues.
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