Updated: Jul 18
One of the most fun and rewarding parts of our work is the research. Exploring new ideas with people of different ages. Making prototypes to play with. Integrating feedback and making improvements. And all of a sudden a new game or activity has taken form.
By observing the attention of the players, their reactions, and struggles we learn. All this helps us understand, not just about the game we are developing, but about how the mind works, what is important to develop through the game. We can observe when concentration happens, or when it does not. We can see what brings forth a feeling of curiosity in the player, that drives the game forward. It is these observation that guide the research process.
If something is too easy the player quickly looses interest. If something is too difficult the attention can drift and it can become frustrating. But if a challenging activity is done together with someone who has slightly deeper understanding, this can scaffold the learning of the player who is struggling. With support someone will then be able to do what they could not do alone.
For each person to be able to develop at their own pace and level, our activities are divided into different stages, isolating different areas of learning. This is something that we study as apart of our research, analyzing what learning objective an activity has, and what the progression of development within an area is.
An activity can be explored in many different ways. These four children have regular sessions and are presently supporting the research of our new 100 piece Kaleidoscope Mandala puzzle. On different days they have entered the game in a variety of ways. Building the pattern collectively, or as here where each child has one set of Base Cards with which to build the common Complex Pattern.
When playing the children were quiet most of the time. Although working on different aspects of the same pattern, they were together – in harmony. They completed the pattern much faster than when they, at a previous session, had mixed all the sets of Base Cards on the table. Although they built the pattern in less time, they were not racing against each other.
We want our games and activities not to bring out competitive qualities, but rather build collaboration and supportive play. This is something we observe carefully during the research process. If a game becomes competitive we look at how to adjust the way of paying to bring co-operation.
You will find all our levelled games and activities in the menu under GAMES.