Bringing the World of Gaming to Human Rights Activism

Mariam Hudaib is 
a junior trainer,
New Tactics MENA.

I am always looking at ways to bring energy to the work of human rights activists. I think about how to encourage participation, how to bring out creativity, how to make methods interactive. One method that is sure to do this is the new initiatives to incorporate game elements into training.

I had the opportunity recently to attend a three-day workshop in Amman, Jordan, titled “Gamification for Humanitarian Learning Workshop.” This workshop was led by Tech Tribes in partnership with International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ICT/ILO) and Humanitarian Leadership Academy (HLA).

The purpose of the workshop was to bring together a variety of civil society organizations, community-based organizations and international non-governmental organizations who work in training curriculum development and delivery, to explore new approaches and tools to create more interactive and engaging content and to meet learning objectives through human-centered design, design thinking and gaming-like approaches. The workshop began with an overview of gamification and the difference between gamification and serious games. Honestly, most of these terms were new to me. However, gamification was used implicitly in our training. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as the use of game elements in any activity, usually in order to make that activity more interesting. In other words, applying game design thinking to non-game applications to make them more fun and engaging.

In the workshop we were introduced to Gamoteca, an application that uses the concept of gamification to develop and design learning games. The idea behind this app is to make learning fun, interactive and more human, as it provides mixed reality game design which combines real life and on-screen interaction, multi role scenarios, peer-to-peer learning, and most importantly, monitoring of real-time progress and providing feedback – espically for coaches and trainers. Another similar app that I found very simple to use while still being effective, is Kahoot. Kahoot is a game-based application mainly used in classrooms, trainings and workshops. The application’s system appears to reinforce learning and motivate students, participants or trainees to be more engaged in the learning process. I believe that adapting such applications in trainings, classrooms or any other learning processes will take learning to the next level.

So, as I would state it, today I am a trainee, tomorrow I am a trainer. In this workshop I got a chance to explore new tools that allow me to add some interactive sense to the training, using already existing learning games or even developing games that are specifically designed to our Five Steps to Strategic Effectiveness Method. I’m excited for this new development and eager to take the next steps.

 

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