A Journey through the Power of Gaming at the “Game On” Training Course in Bucharest

Authors: Filip Oroz, Ivana Žabkar, Mihaela Martić

Greetings, fellow gamers and enthusiasts! We recently had the privilege of participating in the Game On” training course held in the vibrant city of Bucharest, Romania. Organized by a consortium of partners from Croatia, Romania, Denmark, and Turkey, this immersive experience was aimed at harnessing the potential of gaming for learning among youth workers.

Throughout the training sessions, we delved into a myriad of innovative methods, each designed to leverage the unique characteristics of video games to foster learning and development. Let us take you through some of the highlights and insights from our adventure.

Our journey kicked off with a cooking-themed game Cooking Madness, that aimed to teach budgeting skills. We quickly found ourselves immersed in the enjoyable gameplay. The game’s serious undertones and its lighthearted approach provided a unique and entertaining experience for all involved.

Next up was an exploration of Assassin’s Creed, which fully captivated our diverse team and we couldn’t deny its potential. With its richly detailed environments and immersive storytelling, we believe it has the power to engage a specific audience with the right approach.

The experience with “There Is No Game?!” was nothing short of delightful. With its retro graphics and engaging gameplay, this method captivated our attention and emerged as a highlight of the training sessions.

The thrill reached its peak with “Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes” an interactive experience that had the entire team fully immersed. Clear instructions coupled with engaging gameplay made this method a resounding success.

Beyond these highlighted methods, we explored numerous other games that proved to be equally compelling, albeit not incorporated into specific methods. Each session was filled with insights, discussions, and moments of discovery as we navigated the intersection of gaming and learning.

In addition to exploring existing methods, the “Game On” training in Bucharest provided us with a unique opportunity to innovate and create our method. Our team collaborated to develop a novel approach named “Galactic Collaboration: Unmasking the Knowledge” which was subsequently tested during the course.

“Galactic Collaboration: Unmasking the Knowledge” utilized the popular game AmongUs as a platform for learning and skill development. The primary objectives of this method were twofold:

Develop Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Abilities:

Participants were tasked with navigating the complexities of the game environment, which required them to employ critical thinking and problem-solving skills to uncover impostors and complete objectives. Throughout the game, they were encouraged to reflect on the application of these skills and identify strategies for improvement.

Improve Communication and Collaboration Skills:

Effective communication and collaboration were essential for success in AmongUs. Participants were challenged to communicate effectively with their team members, share information, and collaborate to achieve common goals. By reflecting on their communication and collaboration strategies during the game, participants aimed to identify areas for enhancement in these key skills.

During the training course, “Galactic Collaboration: Unmasking the Knowledge” was tested by participants, who engaged in gameplay sessions guided by the method’s objectives. The feedback received from participants highlighted the effectiveness of the method in promoting critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and collaboration skills. Participants appreciated the immersive and interactive nature of the game-based approach and expressed enthusiasm for further exploration of similar methods in the future.

The introduction of “Galactic Collaboration: Unmasking the Knowledge” exemplifies the spirit of innovation and creativity fostered by the “GameOn” training in Bucharest. By leveraging the engaging elements of Among Us, this method provided a dynamic platform for learning and skill development, contributing to the broader objectives of the training course. For more details on the Galactic Collaboration method, please refer to the presentation.

Furthermore, the training sessions offered valuable insights into the importance of effective facilitation and debriefing techniques when using games for learning. Facilitators skillfully guided discussions and reflections, ensuring that participants could extract meaningful lessons from their gaming experiences.

Our experiences in Bucharest extended beyond the confines of the training room, offering us a holistic perspective on both the cultural heritage and the thriving gaming industry of the city. Through culinary delights, cultural immersion, and industry insights, we were able to deepen our appreciation for the intersection of gaming and culture. These experiences not only enhanced our understanding of the local context but also provided valuable inspiration for our ongoing journey in gaming and education.

In addition to cultural exploration, we had the chance to connect with key figures in the Romanian gaming industry. One notable encounter was with Gabriel Stancu who works at the largest game development studio in Romania. This insightful meeting offered valuable perspectives on the gaming landscape in the country, as well as insights into the inner workings of a prominent game development studio.

Furthermore, our visit to a gaming creation company, responsible for developing one of the biggest games in the industry, provided first-hand exposure to the creative process behind game development. We gained invaluable insights into the challenges and opportunities faced by game creators, further enriching our understanding of the gaming industry.

In conclusion, the “Game On” training in Bucharest served as a testament to the transformative power of gaming in education. As we continue our journey, let us embrace the endless possibilities that gaming offers for personal and professional development.

Stay tuned for more updates and insights from the world of gaming and education – next is our Game On Multiplier Event on the 10th of April in Zagreb! Join us and let’s play our way to learning success!

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