Child’s play – children learning from playing games

I saw this “games based learning” initiative from up north.  One of the contributors mentions how much ‘we’ learnt from playing hopscotch as children. I think this is missing the point about the both the IT, cognitive and creative skills that can be developed by well designed games.

Roar cbbc game

An example of a successful 'learning through play' type of game. Developed at Endemol by myself and Matt Burton McFaul, for CBBC

Tokens with value

I was waiting for train on Earls Court station this morning. A man sitting on a bench sat holding, in both hands, a small slip of pink, slightly crumpled, paper. It was a print out that you get from a newsagent with your lottery numbers on. He stroked the edge of the paper looking intently at it. It seemed as if he was running through the numbers, possible important numbers to him (his daughter’s birthday, his first flat?). The fascination and concentration that held him reminded me of the power we can give to simple tokens. Quite ordinary looking things can be endowed with huge significance. We are surrounded by more hyper graphics in video advertising hoardings, mobile application, etc. It felt good to be reminded that this is not always necessary.