Games present opportunities for learners to work through structured experiential sequences together, within the safe setting of game playing and imagined reality. Games can include simulated characters and social situations, opportunities for teammates and players to weigh options and imagine outcomes, time to reflect on the consequences of choices, facilitated reinforcement of putting values into action, analysis of interpersonal processes that mimic real life. These simulations come in handy when young people have to face the similar situations with peer group, family or community.
"What do you think she is thinking?"
Games are Learner Centred
Games have a potential to serve marginalised or learning challenged individuals particularly well. Games are flexible, and use different ways of conveying information and ideas, and this allows individuals to work using their own style of learning and at their own pace.
The same game played with different groups often yields different levels of discussion. Learner centered group work and interaction become especially relevant when young people with different levels of literacy and understanding come together to interact and learn.
Games are User friendly
Games use pictures, colours, graphics and other devices to attract and retain interest – especially when the group has low literacy skills or is comfortable in different languages.
"What kind of a violation is that?"
Games empower field trainers
For programmes that depend on local Facilitators or Peer Educators, games become especially empowering as they are less intimidating and easier to facilitate.
"My Mother in law would not agree!"
Games reduce hierarchy
Games allow educators to play at an equal level while still providing facilitation. As soon as a game begins, the traditional hierarchy of the classroom (or family) is set aside a useful educational dynamic, especially considering that educator (or the parent) is not likely to be around when the learner makes most of the critical decisions in life.
"No facilitators needed here, thank you!"
Games helps discuss taboo and sensitive issues
The fun, non threatening and relaxed atmosphere of games fosters active and positive participation of players. It supports better communication - dialogue, listening, clarity and open lines of exchange. By being non-directive and encouraging different solutions, games create a safe enough space to honestly express ideas, fears, and questions Games make it easy to address taboo and sensitive issues such as sexuality, violence and fundamentalism. They help overcome the common barriers of “silence”, discomfort and polarised emotions. Games and tools give confidence to hesitant trainers and enable them to raise these issues effectively.