GBL Picks: Being an Advocate for Games, 7 Great Games, and Games for Social/Emotional Learning


The Knowledge Guru team is obviously very interested in the future of game based learning, and right now that future is bright. But not everyone is as informed about the industry. We are setting out to change that. We’re on a mission to educate the Instructional Design community and the decision makers in Training and Development about game based learning and its true potential.

As part of that mission we’re bringing you GBL picks, a series of curated resources on game based learning and gamification. We’ll explain why each resource is important and how the information in them can be used to shape opinions on game based learning. So now, without further ado, here are this week’s GBL picks:

Pick #1

5 Simple Things Educators Can Do To Promote GBL

This week’s GBL Picks has a few articles focused on educators in a school setting, but the ideas still translate perfectly into the corporate word. In this first article, the author highlights five ways to promote game-based learning. Games need advocates in the learning realm because there will always be people who think games are frivolous—and that’s where you come in. You should be out there joining forums, playing games, and being an advocate. A great suggestion in this list is to start small. If GBL is a completely new thing for your organization, then try running a small pilot program. This will get the ball rolling in the right direction for more creative and engaging learning.

Pick #2

7 Great Educational Apps And Games

This slideshow made it on the list mostly because of Step 1 in Sharon Boller’s Learning Game Design Series: Play and Evaluate Games. Any of you reading GBL Picks should be playing a lot of different games all the time. This is a list put together by Forbes contributing editor Jordan Shapiro who frequently writes about game based learning, so I think it’s a good place to start. Download a few of these games and gamified apps and poke around. See if you learn something about how you want to build your learning game.

Pick #3

Video Games and Social Emotional Learning

Our last article takes a very in-depth look at games as they relate to social and emotional learning. Video games are great at teaching players to healthily manage emotions, self-motivate, understand themselves, and (the part you’re probably most interested in) solve problems. Games like Portal 2 keep the mind sharp and alert through hours of unique, mind-bending puzzle solving. This game emphasizes the importance of navigating a new environment carefully and recognizing and utilizing the materials available in a game. I’m sure you can already see the potential for soft-skills training. Check out the article, it has a lot of research and cites some good sources—a good way to wrap up this weeks GBL Picks.