The Games Process (A Case Study)

Dr Tomasz and his finance Mare were four weeks out of running their first retreat in Bali. The retreat was being run for students preparing for their Gamsat exam, this being the exam to get them into medical school.

Both Dr Tomasz and Mare had experienced games before and knew that this was something that they wanted for their own students.

The initial calls saw us delve into the outcomes they were after for the students. There were many including things like:

  • Being able to perform under pressure in their entrance interviews,
  • Understand interviews from the interviewers perspective while staying ethical demonstrating an understanding of the guiding principles of medicine.
  • Personality profiling, their own and others
  • As well as team building, leadership and conflict resolution

 

There was a lot in there so we knew immediately that two games would be needed. We then moved onto the next step of the process. This was the Games Design Questionnaire. This is where we where able to dig even deeper into the outcomes required for the game.

The questionnaire allows us to not only understand the outcomes but to also get a snap shot into how this fits in with the rest of the training. How are they being taught the outcomes of the game, prior to the game running? What will be happening to support the learning immediately after the game has run?

We also start to explore theming ideas and any other points of consideration before the creation of potential game mechanics occurs.

Dr Tomasz and Mare supplied in-depth information and very clear outcomes, which allowed us to move into the the theming and mechanics as the next phase of custom creation for our clients.

The first game was about interviews and understanding guiding principles.

Client notes:

Making sure they understand and can apply the guiding principles of being a doctor:
1. First, do no harm “ sometimes it’s better to stand by and do nothing than to try something that will be harmful
2. Confidentiality “ not disclosing private information unless the patient/friend/colleague says they’re going to hurt themselves or someone else.
3. Autonomy “ people have the right to make their own decisions no matter how ridiculous your think they might be.
4. Beneficence “ acting in the patients best interests, they come first.

After some discussion between Ben and myself we agreed that instead of getting the students to follow the principles that we would stretch them to totally go the opposite way and completely disregard them.

For this to work we would need an environment that was fun, loud and not close to the real life every day environment of doctoring. It also needed to be in a space where the guiding principles wouldn’t/couldn’t be adhered to.

The theme of the old west and the charismatic, sneaky, snake oil salesman experience was born. The students would need to sell a product that had no real benefit to the client, thus throwing principles out the window and in the process they would also experience questions around ethics and make buying decisions based around said principles.

The mechanics required needed to keep all students engaged while one pitched so we created an environment where if you weren’t pitching your wares, you were being pitched too. The students pitched, asked questions, and stayed a part of the whole experience.

Dr Tomasz and Mare said YES and Miracle Medicine was the outcome.

Bingo. One game down: second game to go.

The second game was to teach the personality principles. It wasn’t about just understanding them but also about applying them in stressful situations so we knew we needed to make a game that perturbated and stretched the clients.

Client notes:

  1. Students will know how to identify their own personality profile.
  2. Students will understand what their strengths and weaknesses are.
  3. Students will be able to identify areas to work on through the rest of the course (EG: reserved person will understand that they need to speak up about their experiences instead of fading into the background OR lively will understand that they need to learn to be quiet when they are being spoken to etc).

A game that involves building and teamwork generally does the trick so the next step was a theme. Artificial Intelligence and programing these robots to best suit the work was the idea after a brief discussion.

These robots were needed to cover a shortage of doctors in a future time of famine, war and disease.

Looking at the mechanics of the game followed. Robots are programmed so the programming mechanic was decided and then the robot build was found. We always test builds for ease or difficulty of build and to test how the students outcomes may be affected.

The robot was going to be a challenge, but that was the part of the games outcome, for pushed students to be able recognise their own personalities. Doctors need to be able to communicate and cope under pressure.

Dr Tomasz and Mare said YES and Intelligent Insights was born.

Then the documentation began.

Our games have between 30-60 pages of supporting documents. These documents cover, Rules and Objectives, Debriefs, Facilitator Flow (Pre-teach and scripts) Game Tracks and AV Flow plus general logistics. Game dependent they also include cut out sheets, stickers and handouts.

A game takes on average three days to build after the theming and outcomes have been decided on. We based our games on real life data (Miracle Medicine used traditional Chinese healing medicines in the game, some proven to have results some not so much) and the characters used to teach the games tie in with historical figures.

Due the themed nature of our immersive games, we use characters or Faculty as we call them to run the experience. So for Miracle Medicine Dr Tom became Dr Bruce Wells and for Intelligent Insights Mare became Professor Ivana Asimov.

The games were very well received by the students, the day flowed and the outcomes where met. Dr Tom even got to try out his hand at an old west accent. Apparently that needs work for the next time the games run.

And the beauty of these games that they can be run again, even with the same students.

Gamified events, memorable and educational due to the intensity and fun nature of the games.

Are you a creative facilitator ready to level up to games at your event? Contact me today for a complimentary content review and gamification analysis.