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HUDDLE Sessions and Gamification

ChessIn my business, I use the term “games-way-of-thinking” yet I’ve realized the term is essentially a variation on the theory behind gamification which is a concept getting more and more attention lately.

Gamification, according to Wikipedia, is “the use of game thinking and game mechanics in a non-game context to engage users and solve problems.” That definition is spot on for my application of a games-way-of-thinking which is using an alternative approach to solve people problems. As I give presentations on the games-way-of-thinking, I provide several examples of problems in the office that are typically addressed through a bureaucratic mindset that often falls short of a solution. Instead, I propose thinking about the problem as if it were a game that is desperate for a game solution.

HUDDLE Sessions for Creative Problem Solving, a service offered through this website business, most certainly demonstrates gamification or, by my definition, a games-way-of-thinking. The Sessions are platforms on which four women dump their challenges or problems while the team responds as if sitting together at a game board. It works exceptionally well whether the participants are lovers of games or not. The game part of HUDDLE Sessions is not obvious, except for the peels of laughter that may work their way into the discussions. Searching for the desired outcome of a game exercises the brain in a different, more inspired way, than merely searching for a solution to a problem.

Ty McCormick, associate editor at Foreign Policy published an article in the Dallas Morning News on Sunday, August 4, 2013 in which he outlined the evolution of gamification. (CLICK HERE to read the article ). Since 1910 when gamification activities were first documented, we as a people, have sought alternative ways to solve a problem by using the concepts of our most basic games.

There is something innately human about connecting to others. For some, the need to connect is a matter of life itself. For others, it’s on the scale of a fanciful hobby, yet the need to connect exists at varying degrees with all peoples all around the globe.

I have chosen women around the world as the game players for my game, the HUDDLE Sessions. We play a game together using our problems as our individual playing pieces. We advance “around the board” using an innovative process that, for each team member, discovers outcomes that are new, fresh, and imaginative. In my game, everyone wins, of course. Although there is no swag bag for prizes, everyone goes home with more than what they brought to the table. Better connections with others. Better solutions to challenges. They take their game pieces back with them too but the pieces will have been reshaped, redefined and painted with different colors and facades.

 

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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