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Sylvester Arnab- professor of Game Science, who is the applied innovation lead at the Disruptive Media Learning Lab of Coventry University, an associate of the Centre for Post-Digital Cultures, and the co-founder of the award-winning GameChangers initiative.
Links to episode mentions:
- Disruptive Media Learning Lab of Coventry University
- Game Science and Hybrid Learning Spaces
- Andrew Marczewski
- Richard Landers
- Beaconing Project
- Episode five with Sylvester
There are many ways to get in touch with Professor Game:
Looking forward to reading or hearing from you,
Full episode transcription
Rob 00:41 So hello engagers. Once again, we are today, with a very special repeat guest. It’s one of the first persons I’ve met in this world of gamification and listened to as well because it was through a talk. Today we have Sylvester Arnab. Sylvester, are you prepared to engage?
Sylvester 00:55 Yes, I am.
Rob 00:56 Let’s do this. Let’s do this because Sylvester is a professor of Game Science who is the applied innovation lead at the Disruptive Media Learning Lab of Coventry University and is an associate of the center of the Centre for Post-Digital Cultures and the co-founder of the award-winning GameChangers initiative. Sylvester. Is there anything we’re missing from that intro?
Sylvester 01:19 I think that’s just perfect. Thank you.
Rob 01:22 Fantastic. And today we are here because, and you will, you will find this a little bit funny, given the circumstances where we’re at today, the fact that Sylvester is launching his new book, which talks about hybrid learning. And we’ll be getting into that, but just one very quick clarification, please confirm this, or, you know, disprove it as well. I am guessing that you know, Game Science and Hybrid Learning Spaces, which is the title of the book was not inspired by the pandemic and its consequences. Is that correct?
Sylvester 01:53 Uh, yes, that is right. It is quite interesting that the book comes out at this crazy times wherever you are in, even though it was not the original inspiration because never in my wildest imagination, would I thought that we will be in this situation, maybe we have to reimagine the way we teach and learn the way we reconnect with colleagues, as well as you know, in, in terms of the social interaction that we have. But, discussions in the book are very much around how can we consider meaningful and authentic experiences and how can we be more resilient in our practices, regardless of the changing landscape of education, as well as technology, cultures of so on and so forth. So, yeah, so it’s strange, but it is great. Yeah,
Rob 02:42 It sounds like you, you know, you’re backed up a month and a half and racked up a book and launched it, but it is not the case. However, I think the topic is also extremely timely in these days of, you know, hybrid learning. I mean, my, my own experience as well in taking classes from a physical to an online environment. We’re already looking at how to do this during the fall. They’re also already some changes that are happening to classrooms. That will be, it would have been, you know, the traditional in that, in the sense of the physical space of the classroom would have been there. And now that is not the case anymore. So very timely discussion we’re going to be talking about today, you know, all this discussion about what the book looks like, what it is all about, what are the concepts here and what are some of the key lessons that we can take. And of course, we’re going to be drawing some interesting conclusions for that. And the first thing is, you know, the first term that comes, you know, there, and I think it’s very interesting for the audience is game science. What do you mean in this, under this concept by game science?
Sylvester 03:42 Well, in this book, game science is defined as a field that investigates how playful and gameful experiences are designed and applied based on strategies and elements commonly used by game-based approaches, whether they are analog, digital, or hybrid, which also includes so many different other terms, which I’m sure that most people are familiar with. For example, game-based learning, serious games and gamification and how these operations are underpinned by pedagogical and motivational theories and practices. As I said before, they estimate different terms that have been used to categorize such enabling tools, methodologies and principles in this book, I emphasize a more holistic approach in enabling anyone from any background to explore the characteristics and competence of games and gameplay for their own practices.
Rob 04:35 Absolutely. Absolutely. That makes sense.
Sylvester 04:38 So essentially, game science focuses on the use of game principles in a strategic way in order to, to make a process or experience more accessible and more engaging, which, which is of course further discussed and explode throughout the book.
Rob 04:57 That makes sense, especially because that’s what the book should be all about. And, and, you know, when you hear game science and then you think game design and you think gamification, would you say that there is sort of a, because I know there is a, the whole, and I don’t usually get into these kinds of discussions, especially not publicly because I, at least my perspective is I do have an opinion on them, but my perspective is that most of the people who are listening or, or who could be listening to that discussion are not interested in the results, but rather on, as you were saying, the strategies and what can we do with these things, but would you say, and again, I’m going to rugged terrain here, how will you distinguish, you know, game science, game design, gamification, game-based solutions, or whatever, whatever that looks like, how, where does game science stand in this whole, you know, theater of, different strategies and, and in terms as well?
Sylvester 05:48 Yeah, in chapter three, I think of the book is very much discussing these differences. But one thing that I emphasize in that particular chapter is that regardless of what terms that we are using, it is essential for us on both those who are familiar with game-based methodologies in not being confused with the debates or the different terms. Essentially we want to encourage because we want to get everyone to be inspired by games, play, and gameplay, and how they can actually learn from this and how they can create their own experiences that will benefit those, that we should engage. And perhaps for learning, or perhaps for behavioral change, or perhaps we want to nurture positive habits, perhaps. But, in that chapter, I did mention said that it is also important for us to understand the history, as well as the differences that some people might wish to talk about in terms of the differences between game-based learning, serious games, gamification, gameful design, so on and so off.
Sylvester 06:56 And what I discuss in that particular chapter is where I grew up game-based learning and serious games as applied games. Because when you think about applied games, you can actually use existing commercially off the shelf games or any types of games out there, and then repurpose it and remodel it and turn it into an instrument that you can actually use to teach. Or you can create something that is bespoke, something that is created, especially to teach certain subjects or to change certain behaviors on a cell phone. So those are something that we can actually term, we can actually describe as an applied game, and it can either be game-based learning if it is for learning. And if it is essentially focusing more on the digital video games sort of technology, and the history of the definition is very much around the use of such games to be called serious games.
Sylvester 07:52 But this there’s a site, people are using this particular terms interchangeably. And of course, I described the history of the definition of gamification and how the word gamification has been used in so many different ways. And, uh, one key message that I would like to put out in terms of this book. And that specific chapter is regardless of what the terms are, we should not create this barrier for anyone to try and explore it. And as I said in the beginning, it’s like, how can we encourage people to be inspired by games and gameplay and how they can actually use this to influence the way they create experiences in the practices? So yes,
Rob 08:33 Absolutely. Absolutely. In fact, this is precisely like, I love that message because it adds the rigorousity that you have that you’re, you’re bringing forward with, you know, your book with your research, because I know this is something you’ve been doing for quite a long time, but it also accounts for the people. And again, we can even talk about, you know, coming friends that we have Andrew Marczewski, he, he definitely, he is a strict person in the sense of where the word stands and where it doesn’t, but in the end, what he is actually doing out in the field, like many of us as well is using all of these things like you could call it. I mean, some of the things that you do or you could call it game science, you could call it. Some others are gamification. Some others might be serious games.
Rob 09:16 It came, some others might be just, you know, like fully-fledged games or game-based learning. And it is a full-fledged toolbox. And in the end, you know, for the person who is receiving this, you know, they are receiving these tools and they understand that this is something that comes from games. So I love the way that you put this forth and that there isn’t another term, which I think is important and especially relevant nowadays. And I have to say that this is probably not exactly the same way you did, because we were sort of starting to use it right now in that way, but is a term of hybrid learning. You talk about hybrid learning in your book, it’s part of the title. One. When you talk about hybrid learning, what do you mean by that? And I think that’s also very important, sort of to set to cement where, where our conversation is going to be for the rest of the interview.
Sylvester 10:01 Excellent. When I talk about habit learning, I’m actually looking at the perspectives of learning at the speed of need across different, spatial, contextual and material modalities and the blending of these modalities. So hybrid learning proposes a more pragmatic and holistic approach for finding the right combination out of all modalities, regardless of what the prescribed binary of digital and physical in blended learning, for instance. So hybrid learning favors the overlapping and the cross-fertilization of often separate educational dimensions and modalities, for example, the cross-fertilization of individual constructs, special modality, whether it’s digital, physical, online, offline. Formality, whether it is informal, formal, non-formal and the temporality of contexts, personal and social relationships, as well as identities. So hybrid perspectives are encouraging us to really think of what is the most meaningful configuration of experiences that we want to create, which is relevant for both education, as well as game design.
Sylvester 11:12 That goes back to the previous discussion we had in terms of the different terms that we have. We need to think of the best meaningful experiences that you want to create that will inform the design of learning. That you want to create as well as informing the design of games and game-like experiences that you want to create. So if we compare this to blended learning, hybrid learning is more strategic because, because it defines a series of varied processes and practices at the speed of need with a focus on the experience itself where blended learning is very much more tactical where the configuration of educational modalities is constrained, most of the time by the binary of digital and physical didactics. So if we match this with, in terms of what game science can bring into this space, games and gameplay, provide insights into the mechanics, dynamics and the aesthetics of engagement and participation in, in experiences that were encouraged, for example, learners or players, to act, to make decisions, to reflect which in a learning sense, it will nurture a lifelong learning practice that will guide them in their future inquiries.
Sylvester 12:28 So the design practice of gameful experiences combined with, for example, motivational theories, the pedagogical perspectives can definitely inform the way we configure meaningful and authentic learning experiences and vice versa. Hybrid perspectives can also in turn inform how we leverage game-based practices. For instance, as gaming technology evolves, we may get so excited and highly driven by the new opportunities to leverage our didactics and contents of the next 20 development days. Of course, nothing wrong with this. I’m very, very excited with new technologies and gaming and different types of technologies that can enhance and supersize our experiences. However, there is a need for a hybrid approach for focusing on what experience that would best benefit the players, the learners, as well as educators. So both game science and hybrid learning, you know, we can learn from both and be able to think about the experience that we want to create depending on who the target audience is. And I think it is a timely dialogue that we should have in terms of encouraging people to be more intentional in the design.
Rob 13:41 Absolutely. And in fact, this reminds me of the this, well, the discussion that we had on the podcast with Richard Landers, um, one of the things that he was mentioning, and I think it was very interesting, is he was at that point, that probably he might be still around those things, he was discussing the use of VR. And again, as you were mentioning, it’s not the technology for the sake of technology, because one of the things that, for example, that we’ve had, not trouble with, but, you know, we’ve struggled finding exactly where it is that it makes sense is. I mean, introducing VR seems like very exciting and very useful, but then you think about, okay, what are the affordances? And affordances are the things that you can do that you couldn’t do without this technology, the affordance that you get from introducing VR, you know, what are those affordances and how can those affordances be useful in that context? Because if they’re not useful, then there’s no reason to introduce that new technology. There is no reason to go blend it or hybrid or whatever. That’s, that’s I think a key point. And I, and I wanted to, to dig a little bit deeper into that Sylvester if, if we can, because I’d like to know, like, what is, again, of course, a birds-eye view, of course, I’m sure the details are in the book, but how do you utilize this? How do you view and say, well, the way of introducing this into real life would be having an approach like this one.
Sylvester 15:01 Yeah. It’s interesting that you mentioned VR as well because in the last chapter of the book I talk about when someone does trendy stuff that everyone’s talking about, and especially in terms of the fourth industrial revolution and evolution of education in terms of education 4.0. Education 4.0 is very much focusing on experiential learning. So that’s sort of really inspired some of the stuff that I’m talking about in the book in terms of like, what you’re saying is how do we make sure that what we are doing is basically focusing on the intentional learning experiences that we wish to create instead of being restricted or being entirely driven by technologies, such as VR. I think one way to look at it.
Sylvester 15:41 And one way that I’m looking at it in terms of the existing work that I’m looking at, it’s very much, as I said before, I will keep on saying this. It’s like a focus on the experience that we want to create. We need to have a storyboard of the experiences that we would wish our target audience to have, and intentionally think of what are the different types of activities, the different types of engagement that we wish to create and design and map it against existing theories. For example, if you want, we want to create an educational experience made to ensure that everything activities that we create for that particular experience are mapped against the different types of learning contexts or learning constructs. For example, if you are looking at inquiry-based learning, what are the different aspects of that, that we can include as part of the design and mapping against activities?
Sylvester 16:31 So the idea activities could be something that is more gainful and playful because learning about engagement, how can we engage them in the different aspects of inquiry-based learning for instance. And then we think about what are the technologies that will inform that will better enable these experiences to happen because it doesn’t have to be one single solution. It can be a collection of activities enabled by different types of technologies that work provide a more contextualized connected and meaningful experiences because I would not start off like start with the technology, because just because I’ve got an equipment that will allow me to do holographic work doesn’t mean that it’s going to define what I do, but it has to be holistic and bottom-up. And because it will work because you can try different types of technology. For example, VR, if you think that, you know, for example, we want to teach them to do with culture, and we are looking at artifacts that we can actually get anywhere else.
Sylvester 17:39 So perhaps I can create a game for this. The people can interact with it and they will learn about the stories and whatnot, but they can actually see it in a 3D sort of perspective. So it might not be as real. So it can be connected to other experiences that is enabled by VR, for example. So for instance, if they want to get more knowledge about the particular artifact in the more realistic way, so they can use a VR, part of the experience and be able to really engage and interact with it. But essentially, my main message is to think about the experience, break them down, map the activities against the pedagogical or the learning constructs, as well as the engagement that can be enabled through playful and gainful methods. And then think about the technology that will enable that.
Rob 18:33 Sylvester. Let me just make a quick pause here, because I, I love what you’re saying and the only thing I would like for you to sort of go into as well is to make sure, like, let’s say there’s one of The Engagers who’s listening right now and says, Oh, that sounds amazing. I have this class on this and that like, how do I actually go about it? Like, yeah, I wanna, I want to make sure that technology is right. I wanna, I have like my, an open, a white canvas. Like, what do I do? How do I go about finding, I have, you know, this, these objectives, these things, I sat down, I write down the objectives and learning objectives. I think about, as you said, what is the experience I want my students to have, for example, as you’re talking about cultural, I’m going to talk about business because I teach at a business school. So that’s typical and I’m teaching. I’m going to be teaching supply chain management is very soon. So I have a supply chain management class. How do I like once I have learning objectives, what do I do? Like what, what could be the things that I do after that?
Sylvester 19:29 That’s great that you asked that question because one of the key things that I observed and researched for the past few years is about the level of readiness of teachers in terms of the use of games, of game-based pedagogy in terms of your teaching, because one of the key issues is how do we map it against the curriculum is one of the key issues and how do we map it against the lesson plan. In chapter, I think it was chapter four of the book, provide some examples of how you can actually do that in terms of there are two key frameworks I provide. One is something that is very simple in terms of the holistic considerations of how you should start storyboarding your lesson plan. Meaning that, okay, you start with your learning objectives and how do you think there are any objectives should be achieved in terms of, for example, the learning objectives.
Sylvester 20:24 One is to understand the value of open educational resources, for example, and how do I achieve and measure this? So the measure would be the student is going to demonstrate this particular skill by creating their own open educational resources, for example. So you sort of know what the activities that you think might be a bit to measure the learning objectives, and you will know what are the assessment and the measures. So that is the first layer they need to think about. And a second layer is to break it down into something which is more realistic in terms of the context that you want to use, whether you want to use it in the classroom, whether you want to use it as part of the homework in an informal setting. So the context of use is important. So that would define what types, where, and how those, the learning objectives are going to be met by the activities that the students would have to go through.
Sylvester 21:17 And from there, you’ll be able to think about how can I, in the way, quote, unquote, gamify this, or use the inspiration from games and play for these types of activities. So you’ll be able to understand the mechanics of different types of games, perhaps that you have played with me before. Because one of the things that we use in our workshops, as well as working with teachers in Asia, as well as in the UK, is to get them to think about existing games they have played before, just to start with what are the emotional connection that they had with that particular game? What are the activities and the mechanics, the rules of those games and the aesthetics, meaning that the interaction between them and that particular game. So think about all those and break them down and map it against the activities that they wish do facilitate if they want students do address the learning objectives.
Sylvester 22:10 So once you have done that particular mapping. So you have your design that the game design that you have by taking inspiration from different various games that you can actually think of. And then you can think of, okay, now, is this going to be digital, or is it going to be analog? Is it going to be a hybrid? Are there any existing open-source or free software I can use to create that again, there are so many different types of software out there that we can actually use, for example, the RPG maker, and also so different at the platform that can be used. If you want to create a digital game, or you might decide, Oh, I want to create a board game that is going to help me teach physics or to teach business or to teach all sorts of subjects, that particular classroom setting.
Sylvester 22:54 So this is the process that our lecturers are going through. So they think about their learning contexts. They think about how can they make it playful. So they will look at existing games and then they will think about the technology and map it and then iteratively test them out. And for example, one of the games which have been created by two lecturers and two students, uh, which is called <inaudible> is a game that is used to teach Italian in a location-based setting. So they’ve decided on the types of technology that they want to use. And in the end, they use a free software, which was provided by MIT. So they created those games themselves and use it in Coventry City Center to teach the Italian, right. So I think the thing is you need to make that everything is broken down and going back to the storyboarding of experiences that I mentioned before and map it against the lesson plan that you wish to address.
Sylvester 23:55 And some of the examples in the book, there are different frameworks that I mentioned in the book, especially in chapter four, in terms of something which is more rigorous, once you understand, how do you create games for your classroom that you want to make it more rigorous in terms of what is the scientific evidence behind that? So you can look at another framework that is providing an adequate more rigorous methodology for thinking about the mapping of the learning itself and the game components. And you map it against the motivational aspects. So you can do your assessment of your game to ensure which part of the game is actually achieving what part of learning because that is one thing that’s missing in the research in terms of the mapping of what part of the game, why and how are they effective in supporting learning. So more work is needed in that particular area, but the book provides the framework that will allow you to really think about the rigor of the games that you are going to create or gamify lessons that you weren’t going to create for your classroom.
Rob 24:59 Absolutely. That that is, that is beautiful and super, super important. Sylvester, I think that you know, what, what we’ve been talking about is, is very, very deep and very interesting. So the first thing, you know, we’re, we’re sort of, uh, arriving at a certain point and I want to make sure that before the end one. You let us know where we can find that book, um, before of course, before we end, just to, to let it in here, because I’m, I’m, I’m thinking that many of the engagers are already peaked in their curiosity and where can we find maybe the book of maybe more information? How do you, how do people get to know more about it?
Sylvester 25:47 Um, the book is available on the publisher’s website, which is Rutledge, and it is also available on almost all usual outlets. For example, Amazon is also available on what the stones, Barnes, and Noble, or the bookstores, um, that you have. So you can just search for the book and then it will provide you with all different links or you can go on my blog. My blog address is sylvesterarnab.com and I am providing a series of blog posts to provide more insights into the premise of the book. Um, the inspiration for the book and in each of the blog posts, I provide the link for where you can actually access this particular book. And I hope that it will be useful.
Rob 26:36 Absolutely. I’m sure it will be and where, because, you know, there’s all these things and, and some people will say, well, like where does it even come from? Like, what was your inspiration for writing a book like this book?
Sylvester 26:50 It is interesting because I’ve researched and investigated game-based learning, how do we apply it? How do we use games and impacts to support compliment, and also enhance educational experiences since 2009? So there’s a long time ago. I was a child anyway, um, through various initiatives and research projects. And, uh, the main focus of what I’ve researched through these particular projects is on the experience that we wish to create in a facility. As I mentioned before, the experiences that would engage in power and education and also nurture creative and corporative practices. So the question is very much around how should games and gameplay be utilized as inspirations for informing the design of such experiences and how do we configure experiences that will be authentic and meaningful. So, as I said before, the focus of on hybridity in education is definitely timely.
Sylvester 27:47 And inspirations came from years of exploring empathic and experiential game-based learning design practices, as well as education in general because I’ve worked with different stakeholders, different groups in the UK, as well as abroad from the level of primary schools up to higher education for the education and professional development. So I have observed the different types of challenges that educators are facing. So these inspirations from engaging with teachers, themselves and educators, as well as the game-based learning and serious games and gamification community that has inspired the book in terms of, okay, let’s talk about how do we configure meaningful experiences? How can we learn from games and play and how can we deconstruct learning in such a way that we would think about the learners themselves, what to we one them to go through in the process so that you will provide something that is useful and some of is fit for purpose and something that is not entirely driven by trendy new shiny things.
Sylvester 28:52 Um, it’s something that I would think that would be relevant, uh, you know, for so many years because technology will change the education landscape with change but essentially we need to be very resilient in our practices and we need to encourage learners to be resilient as well. And we can definitely learn from games and gameplay, the inspirations that can help us to develop engaging, active experiences that facilitate meaningful application, reflection and consolidation of knowledge, competencies, and capabilities, which I find interesting. And, you know, the use of games and gameplay in education also extends to the use of game designing, game-making process as an educational practice, because one of the key things that I mentioned, not only that we need to encourage people to configure meaningful experiences, we need to promote the sense of ownership of the process. So we have used a lot of different methods in encouraging teachers and educators to create and co-create their own game-based learning resources, or gamified lessons.
Sylvester 30:00 And definitely a lot from this, of course, you know, the quality of the games or gamified lesson plans might not be as good as most of the games, which are created by professionals. However, they are learning through the process, meaning that we onboard them in the process that we practiced it into the end, they will master that process in creating their own resources. So it gets better each time. And the fact that they can implement it in their own classroom has really inspired them further and empowered them as well. So all this is discussed in the book in terms of, you know, the different types of engagement that we need, not just encouraging people to use games and gamified methodologies for teaching and learning but to encourage them to co-create as well.
Rob 30:46 Absolutely. Absolutely. And it’s interesting. And one of the reasons that there’s sort of two things that happened there, and one of the reasons I asked this is because, you know, when we met back in, I believe the first time I saw your talk was in Gamification and World Congress here in Madrid, which was probably somewhere around 2016, I’m guessing is the last one. And there you were already talking about this whole hybrid learning. So, so that was the first thing that came to my mind when I, when I said that. And again, I sort of teased that question because I knew that this is something that has been a long time coming from you, because I know you’ve been doing research around these things and talking about this, you know, through the Beaconing Project that you did before, all these things that have been, have been going on.
Rob 31:29 And the other thing is, I think, I mean, at the start, we said that this was not inspired by the pandemic, but I mean, assuming that this pandemic was inevitable and that it was going to happen. I do think that even the pandemic is kind of timely right now, because imagine how this happened, you know, 10 years ago, 20 years ago, how would, you know, we have continued education and many of the things that I don’t think that the tools were still available there, there was not a level of maturity. I don’t know if you’ve observed something similar and this is probably the last that we’re going to get into, but had you also observed like, the level of maturity, not only of, you know, the understanding, because of course, it’s important to have that understanding, but the general maturity of both technology society, it’s reaching that point where this is actually most relevant now.
Sylvester 32:14 It is highly relevant. And the fact that pre-pandemic, um, we are bombarded with so many different types of technologies, some of which have got rigor in terms of there is a lot of research behind them, but some, some of them are just software or platforms which have been created to solve certain problems. It’s about communication. How can we do remote learning on and so forth? And people don’t actually pay a lot of attention. People just use them based on functionality. However, during the pandemic, it seems that everyone that I’ve talked to, especially when I, you know, we are discussing the content of the book and in terms of the hybrid perspectives, or how can we configure experiences. I don’t think that they realize that now they can actually have a better understanding of why they want to use digital platforms. And not only that, they are looking at digital platforms as a collection of enabling tools, not the main enabler of learning so they can use it in however they want.
Sylvester 33:14 But they’ve learned that they have to think about, okay, what do I want my learners to experience? What do I want my learners to learn? Right. Okay. If they need to do some hands-on stuff, how can I do it? So what types of platforms can help me to do that? Or can I just provide something that is more gamified? For example, I’ve spoken to someone who basically created of like a mission and quest sort of approach to teaching and learning, and that they don’t actually focus on the platform itself. They use the platform, for example, Microsoft Teams or Zoom just for the interaction that they have face to face. But the context of the learning is very much meta. It’s like a metagame. So they will provide the person who gives out missions for students to go out and conduct and do the creative inquiry.
Sylvester 34:01 And they will come back to the zoom meeting as the mission hub. So meaning that they are all agents, which have been sent out into the world and tried to find out information that is going to be pieced together in the discussions. So if you focus on the experience, it will really change the way you teach and the way you learn it and the meaningful experiences that you have. But of course, the isolation part is not as useful. Um, you know, where, I guess it is some people are more resilient in terms of being isolated from colleagues and friends and families, but some people aren’t. So not only the, in terms of the learning, the education aspect itself, the mental health issues is one of the key things that is coming up a lot in the discussion that I have. So how do we learn from experience in terms of gameful and playful and learning?
Sylvester 34:59 How do we engage someone who in this situation, how can we help them to give them a program of activities that might be able to help them in coping with being on the run in a, for example, a small apartment, somewhere in the middle of the city where you can’t actually go anywhere. Um, that’s quite useful. And there has been a lot of research with perhaps assertions or some simple case studies, which have been done about how playing games have really helped people to cope with lockdown because they are able to contextually explore a fantasy world where they can feel that they are, you know, they have the freedom and the sense of autonomy and ownership to go anywhere they want and do, do whatever they want within that particular game scenarios. I think that is, as it goes, it’s giving us, you know, those are creating games and designing games wants to think about how do we use this as a platform that has encouraged people to perhaps focus on the wellbeing as well, focused on not just the learning, but focus on a full spectrum of different types of capabilities that we would wish our learners to have.
Sylvester 36:10 And resilience is one of the key things that we are looking at at the moment. And, uh, we have like, um, projects that we are running in Southeast Asia, where are looking at social resilience and colleagues and policymakers and funders and departments of education are talking about, okay, how can we address the pandemic issue and how can we be better prepared, uh, in the future? How can we use inspirations from, um, gameful techniques and playful techniques in designing experience? So, so, so that is something that is positive.
Rob 36:45 Very relevant and very, very timely as well. So thank you very much for all of this, if you want to, if you want to listen to the, you know, the the first interview that we, that we had it’s episode five. So it was a pretty long while ago. That was very exciting. I’m sure you’ll, you’ll hear to a very polished Sylvester and a very raw Rob here experiencing podcasting for, for not the first time, but you know, the, in this format and this whole thing, it was, it’s probably going to be a lot more raw, but I’m sure you can have fun with it. Right. It’ll be a good experience if you haven’t heard that episode anyways.
Sylvester 37:26 I was about to say that there’s like , that’s like level one of my game and then what, whatever it is, but I think I have definitely matured since then.
Rob 37:38 I’m sure. I’m sure we both have for sure. So, so thanks again, Sylvester, for sharing this for, for writing your book, because actually we know this is a very creative and very hardworking endeavor in general, and, you know, and on some occasions, it is well we’ll paid most of the times. It is, it is not something that pays off as, as other, you know, endeavors with a similar level of dedication would, but thank you very much for, for dedicating that time for, for putting this book out there for, you know, putting forth all of that research that you’ve done. I think it’s a very exciting thing to do. And of course, definitely thank you for being with us today. I mean, we’ve, we’ve invested some time talking about this. I think there’s still a lot to be, to be talked about. There is a lot more discussed in your book. So I would invite all the engagers to go to sylvesterarnab.com you know, probably type book in, in the search bar. And you’ll definitely bump into Sylvester’s current book, however, we’re running of time. And before we just move on to the next thing that all The Engagers are going to do now, I would like to know where we can find more about you about Sylvester, whether it’s in social media, you already, we already know about sylvesterarnab.com. Is there anywhere else that we can, we can find you,
Sylvester 38:50 Um, you can follow me on Twitter. Um, so it’s @sarnab75, or you can also, um, wait if you search my name on Google. And I think the first link is going to appear is from the university. So that is like a more in-depth description of who, who I am, but the projects that I’m doing as well as the publications and, and, uh, and one of you can have a look.
Rob 39:19 Fantastic. Fantastic. Thank you very much. Once again, Sylvester, however, for now, and at least for today, it is time to say that it’s Game Over.
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