Why it's essential to have project management skills training    A few years ago both employers and employees used to be satisfied when they could work in a team which had a specific skillset; time management and team spirit sometimes would be enough. Now everyone is talking about Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and how you must be able to manage all the different aspects of a company so that you can drive it to be competitive and successful. If you want to attract calibre candidates and keep your current employees professionally satisfied then you must invest in personnel training. One of the best areas to focus on is project management since it allows to develop skills that are hard to gain and even harder to pass on.     According to the National College for Teaching and Leadership two of the most effective CPD activities are e-learning and skills-based training. Totem Learning’s Unlock: Project Management is a successful blend of both. Through Unlock: Project Management, players learn how to identify requirements, establish clear and achievable objectives, balance the competing demands from the different stakeholders and ensure that a commonality of purpose is achieved.     Any type of organisation can only benefit from people who can incorporate in their day to day professional life the skills and qualities a successful project manager would have. From organisational and time management skills to risk management Unlock: Project Management can help professionals how to think and act like an effective project manager.     So why do your employees need Project Management skills and what will your company gain from it?     Employees with Project Management skills:   become more efficient by creating and sticking to a specific schedule and timeline.  are more confident because they know how to effectively identify risks and manage projects.  are more organised because they are taught how to manage themselves and a whole team.  improve their communication and negotiation skills by managing all third parties and their expectations.  have problem-solving skills which allow them to deal with more complex issues.  know how to work within budget constraints and how important is using resources intelligently.  open to new ideas and feedback. Trial and error is one of the most effective ways to help you learn soft skills but also helps you learn from your mistakes.    If you want your team to become more efficient, confident and a more valuable asset to your business you need to equip its members with project management skills and here at Totem we know that the best way to teach someone all of the above is by Unlocking their inner Project Manager.   Find out for yourself  today .

Comment

WHY IT'S ESSENTIAL TO HAVE PROJECT MANAGEMENT SKILLS TRAINING

A few years ago both employers and employees used to be satisfied when they could work in a team which had a specific skillset; time management and team spirit sometimes would be enough

Comment

       Totem try  to 'escape the room' ...   This year for our Christmas party we decided to do more than just a lunch and a few drinks and put our game solving skills to the test. Let’s face it, we know we can make great games, but can we win them? Especially when they are time limited, under some serious pressure and we are locked in rooms…. which we have to escape. That’s right!! We decided to try our hand at a couple of room escape games at  Clue HQ Coventry .     The fascination of escape games.  This is something I personally have wanted to do for years, and digital escape games have been a staple of my gaming habit for an awfully long time, so to say I was a little excited could be the understatement of the year! Escape room games have always fascinated me due to their simple concept yet interrelated puzzle solving. They are beautifully intricate and really put your logic to the test.        

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Our experience of Dungeons of Doom and Sacrificed.  There were too many of us to do one room, so we split into two teams to do Dungeons of Doom and Sacrificed. Dungeons of Doom was a purely team-based room, whereas in Sacrificed we were pitted against each other in 2 teams of 2. I don’t want to give anything away for those who may well go along and try their skill for themselves, but oh my, the whole thing lived up to  all  my expectations. I totally bought into the concept, I wanted to win, to beat the other team and escape the room. Unfortunately we didn’t succeed, but nonetheless, it was a great experience and as a team, we had a blast!     Reflecting on the mechanics behind the game.  I can’t help but think of similarities to our own products, especially Unlock: Leadership where we put learners into an unknown situation in which you have to work out the solutions using your logic and problem-solving skills and we pit people against one another. The escape room game also had a facilitator to help us out if we really got stumped and that is something we hope to build into our product in the near future as well. Overall the game mechanics involved were very similar to Unlock: Leadership and it was great to know that they work well in virtual as well as physical experiences.     See it in action!              What I think is most important to the experience was the team interaction. We really had to communicate, plan, record our findings and be organised! Those skills are found in so many games, but especially in team-based games and, of course, those skills are critical skills for the workplace.  If you want to try a different approach to team building and training on soft skills give a multiplayer game a try: either a virtual one or a physical one. I guarantee it will beat any outwards bounds or ice breaker game you have tried before and result in an interesting experience where you learn a lot about your team.      Why not  try  it for free for yourself today?

Comment

TOTEM TRY  TO 'ESCAPE THE ROOM' ...

This year for our Christmas party we decided to do more than just a lunch and a few drinks and put our game solving skills to the test. Let’s face it, we know we can make great games, but can we win them? Especially when they are time limited, under some serious pressure and we are locked in rooms…. which we have to escape. That’s right!! We decided to try our hand at a couple of room escape games.

Comment

       Totem v The Apprentice: which one is better for your project management skills?    To avoid any unintentional Trump reference or association (especially with how much he loves a  threatening legal letter ), we’re going to focus this on the UK version of  The Apprentice  with Sir Alan Sugar. While a fan of a twitter smackdown, the stakes are smaller than attempting humour with the US President Elect. That, and, no one at Totem HQ has seen the US version.     In recent years, irrespective of the prize on offer, The Apprentice has become synonymous with what the candidates tend to call ‘PM-ing’ or, to outsiders, project management. So, in light of Totem’s launch of  Unlock: Project Management , we thought we’d step into Sir Alan’s shoes to set this week’s task -  between Team Totem and Team Apprentice.         Testing your project management skills.      We can’t promise to be wholly unbiased in the battle of Team Totem vs. Team Apprentice - we’ll do our best to try and ensure at least some balance in the assessment. That said, imagine if this was the Board Room: you’d expect the gloves to come off and for Team Totem to come out fighting. I’m not sure that’s the Totem style so we’ll take it down a notch.      Structured learning experience.      It might be tempting to dismiss an entertainment show of this nature as having limited learning potential; that would probably be somewhat hasty.     It’s obvious that there is scope for the apprentices to learn and develop as the series runs its course. However, I’d argue that there is limited scope for an individual structured learning experience. The Apprentice is based on the principle of teamworking and, during your time on the show, your performance is determined by the performance of the team. A weak contestant within the winning team will escape the BoardRoom because their team won, even though their own performance may have been the weakest across the board. This limits the potential for you, as an individual, to receive relevant feedback, learn from it and develop skills.     By comparison, when playing Unlock: Project Management - you see the result of your own actions so can develop the skills you specifically need to work on. There’s no place to hide in Unlock: Project Management.      Team Totem 1: Team Apprentice 0          Real world consequences.      With this topic, comparing Team Totem to Team Apprentice is effectively like comparing one entertainment medium (a game) vs. another (a tv show). Both by the nature of the entertainment medium are simulations of the real world and are therefore limited from fully offering real world consequences.     That said, both do have elements of consequences. For Team Apprentice, poor performance leads you to a grilling in the Board Room and, for all but one, a firing. Team Totem’s Unlock: Project Management has consequences: make the wrong choice and you’ll see the result of it (just like you would in the real world).      Team Totem 1: Team Apprentice 1       Interactivity.      We’re a fair bunch at Totem so we’re happy to admit that actually living and breathing the tasks and the experience of The Apprentice is truly interactive. The end goal isn’t predetermined - there is a framework but you can say or do whatever you want - no fixed choices or options. Until AR and VR become commonplace within Learning & Development development, the Unlock: Project Management is as interactive as corporate learning can yet. That’s not a bad thing - look at how popular gaming is and how many hours are spent gaming: it’s definitely interactive, entertaining and engaging.      Team Totem 0: Team Apprentice 1      Tweeting spoilers.     Rookie error, Sir Alan.      Team Totem 1: Team Apprentice 0         And the winner is…...Team Totem!         via GIPHY           Team Totem 3: Team Apprentice 2       What to expect from Unlock: Project Management.      Unlock: Project Management is an interactive project management game in which the player interacts and reacts to what happens in the game, delivering a project. The game is played through 8 “rounds”, where each round represents a week of elapsed time on the project, apart from the very first round which is a mobilisation phase. In each round the player has to undertake various tasks – some major such as developing a project plan, some minor, such as developing a bi-weekly report. As in real life the game has some options, a few of which are red herrings, and some unexpected risks will arise. The aim is never to trick or confuse the player, merely to represent the twists and turns of a real life situation.     At the end of the 8th round, the game is over.     The player receives a set of scores in terms of the amount of money they have spent and the satisfaction level of 3 different stakeholders. The bi-weekly reports can be downloaded as PDFs to be kept for future review and discussion.     The game takes about 1 hour to play, although the actual length depends on the speed of response of the player. Some fast players can play it through in 40 minutes, whilst other players take longer than an hour. If this is to be used in a classroom situation, players can be instructed to go through the game in an hour. This sort of time pressure is again a realistic reflection of a project scenario.     Why don’t you  demo Unlock: Project Management  and see how it compares for yourself?        By the way, someone once suggested that I go on The Apprentice.     I don’t speak to them anymore.

Comment

TOTEM V THE APPRENTICE: WHICH ONE IS BETTER FOR YOUR PROJECT MANAGEMENT SKILLS?

In light of Totem’s launch of Unlock: Project Management, we thought we’d step into Sir Alan’s shoes to set this week’s task -  between Team Totem and Team Apprentice.

Comment

       How to execute a successful project   You don’t need to be a Project Manager to benefit from the project management skills: the core skills that you’ll see a great Project Manager utilising will benefit most roles. Like so many things within the workplace, it’s about transferable skills - once you’ve learnt them, you’ve got them to reuse as often as you need them.     Let’s identify the skills a good Project Manager will use to deliver successful projects.      What are the core project management skills?      Communication  Effective communication is the lifeblood of most successful professionals. When managing projects, there are particular skills around this that are essential to drive success:   Stakeholder engagement  - this might be your boss, your client, your supplier(s) or any combination of all of these. Essentially, a stakeholder is anyone who has an interest in how the project is progressing and the outcome. Often, it’s because it’ll affect them in some way. This means you need to balance out how much and how often they’re updated on progress as they’ll probably have a view on what it’ll take to keep them comfortable.   Listening and clarifying  - this is particularly important during the initial scoping and planning stage. Taking the time (even if you’re running an AGILE project) to ensure that you fully understand what you need to deliver, asking some seemingly obvious questions and ensuring that you’re clear on the end vision will save a lot of time and confusion down the line.  Clarifying questions such as ‘When you say ‘X’ do you mean ‘A’ or ‘B’?’ or ‘What about if ‘Z’ happens instead?’ can be your best friend.   Written vs. verbal  - This is always an interesting one: how much should you get down in writing versus sharing verbally?  It’d de-risk the project to have the following down in writing:   Legal stuff - contracts, agreements etc.  Scope, project plan, specification  Task lists  Bug tracking  Sign-off   Verbal communication is better used for informal updates, quick requests etc. rather than anything that you might need to refer back to at a later date.  And with the amount of tech readily available to help with tracking all of this, the question is really why wouldn’t you?     Planning  Unsurprisingly, this is a paramount skill given that one of the core deliverables of any project is ‘on time’. Planning involves understanding what needs to happen to complete the scope of work and in what order. Sometimes, it’s about knowing that a delivery date isn’t possible and having to have that awkward conversation with your stakeholders.   Put simply:   Who needs to do what, when and in which order? Answer that.     Organisation  It follows on that organisation is needed to ensure that your plans are delivered and any changes are factored into the plan. A lot of the time, organising refers as much to the practical elements, for example, files, assets, documents etc. Is everything stored and filed in a coherent way for the entire team to access? As it does to the overall organisation of the project.     Managing risk  Sometimes, people confuse creating a Risk Register with Risk Management. You shouldn’t as creating a Risk Register is focussed on only one part of Risk Management process i.e. identifying risks.  The wider risk management process involves:   Identifying risks and understanding the likelihood of them occurring  As far as possible, mitigating those risks  Sometimes, it’ll be about maintaining those risks as some things can’t be de-risked  Monitoring those risks to see if the assessment is still right   It also involves understanding the risk appetite of your stakeholders - if they’re really risk averse (ie can’t stand the idea of any risk) then it’ll be a case of ensuring greater focus goes onto de-risking the project.     Prioritisation  It’s fairly common that everyone thinks that the issue/task they’re working on is the number one most important thing ever. Most of the time, they’ll be wrong. Sometimes they’re right and it's even more challenging when 2 people are probably right about this at the same time.  Your role when this happens is to decide what is the absolute priority for the project. This can be particularly tough, especially when you’re working under pressure.     Handling pressure  Not necessarily a skill unique to project management - it’s something that we have to deal with across various personal and professional scenarios. Some people are naturally stronger at this than others - again, though, that’s pretty much like any skill. It’s important to raise it here because projects are rarely perfect; they are invariably short on time, money or both. There will be an unforeseen complication. For a lot of projects, there is a point where it feels as if it’s all going wrong. What will make you excel as a Project Manager is knowing this, gritting your teeth and ensuring that you focus on these skills to get you through.           Looking for a realistic, challenging yet enjoyable way to develop your project management skills? Check out  Unlock: Project Management .

Comment

HOW TO EXECUTE A SUCCESSFUL PROJECT

Whether you’re officially a project manager or not, the chances are that you’ll still be carrying out tasks that could constitute a project. There are a number of core project management skills that will help you with this.

Comment

       A Toast to Totem's success!    Awarded CTBA2016 Creative Communications & Digital Business of the Year  Topping off a really great year for Totem in which we demonstrated significant business growth and worked on delivering some amazing custom and off-the-shelf products, we were delighted to win at the Coventry Telegraph Business Awards 2016.        </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"         If there were unofficial awards on the night for loudest and most enthusiastic cheers when their name was announced, then it would have been Team Totem.  As Mark (our Lead Artist) pointed out on the night, the competition within the category was stiff so to come out on top feels like an even greater achievement.         

  
     
    
       
        
           
                
           
        

        

       
    
     
  


        The victorious Team Totem with their award      

  
     
    
       
        
           
                
           
        

        

       
    
     
  


     Unfortunately, the rest of the team wasn't able to celebrate with us but the award is definitely deserved by everyone in Team Totem. They've given so much to the company - especially during the last few months when we've been especially busy in meeting some challenging deadlines on a couple of groundbreaking projects.  So here's to Team Totem!     Of course we instagrammed the food!  We are the digital business of the year, after all.          

  
     
    
       
        
           
                
           
        

        

       
    
     
  


     
   
     “ While Totem Learning is a global supplier of innovative online training solutions, it is very nice to be recognised with this prestigious local award and truly deserved by the dedicated and skillful team based in Coventry.    We look forward to further sustained growth and to raising the profile of our favourite city worldwide.  ” 
   
   — Richard Smith, CEO  
      Congratulations to all the other finalists and winners!     Watching the showcase videos, it's clear that we're only one of the companies doing great things across Coventry & Warwickshire: it's great to be part of such a thriving business community.   Here's to seeing you again in 2017!      

  
     
    
       
        
           
                
           
        

        

       
    
     
  


          Want to talk to us about creating your own award-winning game or elearning?  Get in touch today !          


   
    
       
        
           
             
               
             
           
        
         
          
              Totem Learning Ltd  
          
           RT @ TeamTotem : Incase you missed it!

23 countries expressed interest with taking part in the pilot of @ TeamTotem 's Unlock: Projec…  https://t.co/SwQG4RzkJH  
             about 10 hours ago   
         
       
    
       
        
           
             
               
             
           
        
         
          
              Totem Learning Ltd  
          
           Incase you missed it!

23 countries expressed interest with taking part in the pilot of @ TeamTotem 's Unlock: Projec…  https://t.co/SwQG4RzkJH  
             about a day ago   
         
       
    
       
        
           
             
               
             
           
        
         
          
              Totem Learning Ltd  
          
           RT @ BizLearningGame : Helen from @ TeamTotem  gets day two under way  #ICOBLG   https://t.co/XbgwvZEZKG  
             about 4 days ago   
         
       
    
       
        
           
             
               
             
           
        
         
          
              Totem Learning Ltd  
          
           Only 5 days left until CEO of @ TeamTotem , @ helenroutledge , delivers 'Retrain Your Brain: How Games Can Help You Bec…  https://t.co/zXQbY8KTL6  
             about 4 days ago   
         
       
    
   



   Y.use('squarespace-follow-buttons', function(Y) { Y.on('domready', function() { Y.Squarespace.FollowButtonUtils.renderAll(); }); });

Comment

A TOAST TO TOTEM'S SUCCESS!

Exciting times for TeamTotem this week - we're officially the Creative Communications & Digital Business of the Year!

Comment

       Mosaic Enterprise Challenge Finals 2016    The 2016 Mosaic Enterprise Challenge Finals took place on the 4th of May at Hogan Lovell’s International in London, which myself and Richard had the pleasure in attending.                  This year has been bigger and was more fiercely contested than any of the previous years. The challenge this year reached 4898 students in 105 schools across six regions in the United Kingdom, and these students were supported by 531 volunteer mentors. 2016 was the first year to have a winning school from Scotland, the first year in which Scottish schools have entered.                  The Enterprise Challenge is an inter-school business competition which is designed to inspire and encourage entrepreneurial behaviours and enthusiasm about business and the student’s future careers.  Secondary students aged 11-16 were invited to join the competition and were supported by business mentors who assist all students through the different stages of the competition. . The Enterprise Challenge is in its 8th year and Totem Learning has supported the competition with ‘The Business Game’ from the start. Students use the game to practice the skills they learn throughout the competition.                  Last year’s winners from Skinners Academy in Hackney pitched their way to success and Clint Wilson, Chief Executive at ParentPay Ltd, announced on the day that their business concept ‘iRoundUp’ will go live this Autumn across 6000 schools, being the first winning concept to go commercial.                    The day kicked off with a fantastic compare Charlene White, journalist and broadcaster for ITV News, who struck a perfect balance of professionalism and entertainment. Then onto an introduction from Johnathon Freeman, Mosaic’s Managing Director, who has been with Mosaic since January 2011. He spoke so proudly of Mosaic and the Enterprise Challenge and thanked everyone who was a part of this year’s Enterprise Challenge. After a 5-minute video about the build up to the day and a quick re-cap of the rules for the presentations, the competition kicked off with the first 3 presentations from St Thomas Aquinas Catholic School in Birmingham, Altrincham Grammar School for Girls in Manchester and Dixon Kings Academy in Bradford.                  Mid-way, Saeed Atcha, radio presenter, youth charity CEO and CEO of Xplode magazine, made a speech on how far he has come since he, himself in 2011 took part in the Enterprise Challenge. He led his team to come 1st in their region, and 3rd in the national challenge. He said  “ I know how you’re feeling, as I too was sat where you are. I was nervous and anxious but I was so excited too! ”                   The rest of the teams then presented their ideas. Eden Girls School in Waltham Forest, Rivers Academy in Feltham and Hollybrook Academy in Glasgow.                  Charlene asked the judges to leave the room to deliberate while she went on to tell the students what prizes were up for grabs. She even said herself, “ I can’t lie, I’m well jel ”. The winning team would win £2500 for their school and £500 seed fund to help make their winning idea a reality. After the final, all the teams would be treated to a trip on the London Eye and a Duck Tour of the Thames. And the winning team would enjoy a thrilling helicopter ride over London! They would then join the other teams for tea at Harrods. Charlene then introduced us to James Caan CBE, CEO of Hamilton Bradshawone and a former Dragon on the hit BBC show Dragons Den, and Soloman Ian-Sangala, Founder of AttireX, who answered questions from the competing students.                  The judges made their decision. And the winning team was . . . Eden Girls School, Team S-MART with their idea for a secure online trading portal in which pupils can buy and swap anything from unwanted school books or calculators to their own art pieces. The Year 7 girls are the youngest ever to win the competition narrowly beating Team ‘Hand-Up’ from Dixon Kings Academy in Bradford and Team ‘Eazo Peazo’ from Rivers Academy in Feltham.      

  
     
    
       
        
           
                
           
        

        

       
    
     
  


     The Pupils from Team S-MART said:  “ We just can’t believe it. This feels like a dream. We worked really without mentor on the idea and we knew it was good. But to win is just amazing. The competition has taught us so much, especially about being confident when standing up and talking in front of other people ”.  The team’s teacher said:  “ The girls have been relentless and have worked every possible hour on their idea. All of us at the school are so proud of them. Their mentor was absolutely brilliant and worked very hard with them, not just on the idea itself but also on their presentation skills ”.                  It was an amazing and inspiring event! I am so proud to be part of such an amazing and life changing competition for these young people. Mosaic reach so many students each year and give them wonderful support to help grow Britain’s entrepreneurs of the future.   By Charli Simpson

Comment

MOSAIC ENTERPRISE CHALLENGE FINALS 2016

The 2016 Mosaic Enterprise Challenge Finals took place on the 4th of May at Hogan Lovell’s International in London, which myself and Richard had the pleasure in attending.

                This year has been bigger and was more fiercely contested than any of the previous years. The challenge this year reached 4898 students in 105 schools across six regions in the United Kingdom, and these students were supported by 531 volunteer mentors. 2016 was the first year to have a winning school from Scotland, the first year in which Scottish schools have entered. 

Comment

       Liberating the Learning Process through the 'Sandbox' game design    Too much of learning is top down, trainer led, sage on the stage – these are the traditional models of imparting knowledge into a mass audience. Originally designed for educating workers during the industrial revolution the classroom seems to be a concept we are holding onto for dear life. But why does formal learning have to be this way? The classroom is a complete contrast to how we learn informally, where the world is our sandbox, our playground, a place where we discover, we learn, we remember. Where experiences are personal, and they mean something to us.  Why can’t we take some of the principles of this free form, learner driven experience and apply it to formal learning? Well, the good news is that we can! We can create environments that encourage exploration, that encourage curiosity that lead to meaningful ‘aha’ moments and environments that can be leveraged in many ways. The secret is working with elements of Sandbox Game Design and blending them with learning outcomes.       

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Many think of a sandbox game as a completely open world where anything is possible, anything is achievable and there are no limits. However a sandbox game does contain structure, it contains rules, there are tools, but you are free to play in the ways you think are best. Sandbox games can be complex; to develop, to make, to maintain, to market and promote. Only a few make the big time, Sim City, World of Warcraft and Minecraft to name a few. However, reflecting on the name of this genre, ‘sandbox’, it conjures up the most simple of play experiences. A box of sand and a person’s imagination. Another way to think about sandbox game design is to think of a football pitch; a patch of grass with white lines and goals at either end of the field. Now you can have under 11’s play on that pitch or you can have Real Madrid vs Barcelona – the environment is the same; the same grass, the same goals, the same paint, but the strategy, the style and the pace of the game will be different. This is the essence of sandbox design – creating an environment that can be leveraged for multiple abilities and multiple learning outcomes – it becomes what you make of it.  The goal of a sandbox game designer is to create a world where players keep coming back. A world which players want to explore. However, learning designers have a different goal and that is to allow learners to discover content. You can use the design of a sandbox world to pique curiosity, revealing a certain amount of information to the learner when appropriate to drive them through the experience.  Of course you probably don’t have the budget to create an open world which is representative of your business. And the good news is that you don’t need to. You just need to create a world that feels big – it’s all an illusion. You can reference wider systems and consequences in the narrative, you can visualise mountains in the distance, or use clues to suggest a sprawling city. This ‘expansive world’ will feel like a playground and learners will want to explore and see what’s round the next corner.      
   
     “ Games in general refocus the learning experience onto the learner ” 
   
  
      Games in general refocus the learning experience onto the learner. They place an individual in a scenario and ask them what are you going to do? This isn't a mechanic limited to sandbox games, alone, it’s very common amongst game thinking but in a more structured game you can divert a learner back onto the right track or you can reflect consequences immediately. In terms of sandbox design, a designer needs to let go of the structured learning process and realise that through experimentation with the environment and the tools, learners will find their own way through the content. Therefore, you will find time on tasks varies wildly from player to player depending on how they go about completing tasks, which path they have taken, how they prioritised information, and their own individual approach to learning. Of course a learning designer, doesn't want learners to become lost or frustrated so the key is to create a world where the content can be discovered and use good sign posting on how to find it.  Sandbox game design allows learners to explore, refine and practice skills. The design principles behind the game Unlock: Leadership for example, don’t align to any specific school of leadership; rather the environment gives players a platform to try out behaviours and strategies to develop their own leadership methodology. The game doesn't tell you how to be a good leader, the design is more about the changing role of leadership, to be a leader as part of the team and seeing the bigger picture.     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Providing this context for learning is important. Most sandbox games are multiplayer and the dynamics of the players impacts on the experience of any given user: change the players and the game changes. Each player comes with their own strengths, weaknesses, experiences and expectations and change the way the game plays out.  Multiplayer sandbox games also allow players roles to change. As the players are controlling their actions and choices, roles change and adapt. Different challenges may require different strengths and a sandbox game should be flexible enough to allow learners to showcase their expertise under different circumstances.  Because sandbox games are all about the players and the context, the ‘aha’ moments vary from player to player, from team to team. Because learners are placed at the centre of the experience and we make it about how they play, we make it personal. And by making it personal, by discovering it for yourself, we can make those lessons stick. 

Comment

LIBERATING THE LEARNING PROCESS THROUGH THE 'SANDBOX' GAME DESIGN

Too much of learning is top down, trainer led, sage on the stage – these are the traditional models of imparting knowledge into a mass audience. Originally designed for educating workers during the industrial revolution the classroom seems to be a concept we are holding onto for dear life. But why does formal learning have to be this way?

Comment

       Serious Games awards    Here is a list of awards for serious games, its a work in progress so please contact us if you know of any more we can add - or any more detail about submission deadlines for next year's awards...   Games for Change Awards   New York, Applications Closed 2nd March  The Games for Change Awards celebrate the year's best social impact games. There are three categories; Best Gameplay, Most Significant Impact and Most Innovative. Winners are announced at the Games for Change Festival's Awards Ceremony.   Serious Play Conference Awards   Pittsburgh, Deadline for Applications 1st April, Cost $150-350   The Serious Play Conference, now in our 5th year, is a leadership conference for professionals who embrace the idea that games can revolutionize learning. Speakers, who come from all parts of the globe, share their experience creating or using games in the corporation, classroom, healthcare institution, government and military and offer tips on how to move game-based education programs ahead.    German Computer Game Awards (Serious Game Category)   Netherlands, Applications closed 31st January   In the category of Best Serious Game the best Computer Simulation (Serious Game) will be awarded from Germany. Serious Games use technologies from the computer and video game industry, for example, simulation technologies to treat serious issues in a fun way. So you use the motivational and / or entertaining game mechanics for the transfer of skills and knowledge and can be used in education and training. This category can be awarded in other sectors of the economy as an alternative successful examples of playful representation (Gamification) as well as technology transfer from the computer and video game industry. If there is such a distinction, the category is renamed in the respective year in Best Playful representation (Gamification) and Best Technology Transfer. This award is endowed with € 30,000.00.    Serious Play Awards   California, Application Deadline 14th March   The Immersive Learning Research Network (iLRN) is an international organization of developers, educators, and research professionals collaborating to develop the scientific, technical, and applied potential of immersive learning.    The eLearning Awards (Learning Technologies Award Category)   London, Application Deadline 30th September   Celebrating quality, excellence and best practice The Learning and Performance Institute hosts the annual Learning Awards to recognise outstanding examples of high standards, best practice, innovation and excellence in Learning and Development.    The Fun and Serious Game Festival Awards (Serious Game Category)   Spain, Application Deadline TBC but likely to be September 2016   The Fun & Serious Game Festival was established in 2011 to recognise the best fun and serious games of the year and, through them, the work of artists, developers, directors, producers, and all the professionals in the video game industry.    Bilbao (Spain) will be the city of video games thanks to the 5th Fun & Serious Game Festival, which is becoming a leading event in the sector in Europe.    Awards are given to the best video games in entertainment and other industries. The latter are the so-called ‘Serious Games’ using video game technologies in developments for education, health, aerospace, culture and many other sectors.    The awards are meant to debunk stereotypes about video games and give a well-deserved boost to the video game industry.    GALA Conference Awards   Italy, TBC but likely to be October 2016   The GALA Conf SG Awards wants to favor the flourishing of the SGS market by encouraging students, newcomers, amateurs developers and small studio to present their work in a friendly contest. Organized by the Serious Games Society, the awards are based on the judgment of experts of the SGS network.     The experts will evaluate the user experience and the learning effectiveness of the submitted games. Games on any application field are welcome.    Gamification World Awards   Spain, TBC but likely to be October 2016   The Gamification World Awards (GWA) will honor the most outstanding gamification projects of the year and their creators. Awarded by an international Jury, the main goal is to encourage the various agencies/promoters/companies to share their projects in the Gamification World Map. In addition, they are meant to become an annual meeting point for the gamification industry, where the best projects of the year can be recognized.    The Serious Games Showcase and Challenge   Florida, TBC but likely to be September '16   The Serious Games Showcase & Challenge is the premiere venue for recognition of excellence in the field of Serious Games development. The Challenge prides itself on helping foster creativity and innovation in Serious Games since 2006 as part of NTSA's I/ITSEC Conference held in Orlando, FL.    The Brandon Hall Group Excellence in Learning Awards (Learning and Development Category; Best Use of Games and Simulations for Learning)   Florida, Application Deadline 23rd September '16   Now entering its 21st year, the Brandon Hall Group HCM Excellence Awards Program is the most prestigious awards program in the industry.  Often times called the “Academy Awards” by Learning, Talent and Business Executives, the program was one of the first of its kind in the learning industry, which was pioneered in 1994.    The Dutch Game Awards (Serious Game Category)   Netherlands, TBC   The Dutch Game Awards are the professional awards for the Dutch and Flemish gaming industry. On 30 September they are awarded for the eighth time during the Awards Dinner.    The Tech and Learning Awards   TBC likely to be April '16   Tech & Learning's Awards of Excellence program has been recognizing outstanding ed tech products for over 30 years. With a solid reputation in the industry as a long-standing, high-quality program, the AOE recognizes both creative new offerings and significantly updated products that help educators in the business of teaching, training and managing with technology. All entries are given a rigorous test-driving by qualified educators in several rounds of judging. Products are also carefully screened by the T&L editorial team.   Evaluation criteria include the following: quality and effectiveness, ease of use, creative use of technology, and suitability for use in an educational environment.    eLearning Awards - Best Game for Learning Category   London, Application opens March '16 and closes June '16   The E-Learning Awards showcase some of the most recognisable, memorable, and life-changing e-learning worldwide.  They are internationally recognised and open to organisations of all sizes - if you offer outstanding e-learning, then you should be entering the E-Learning Awards!     Independently judged to the highest and most rigorous of standards, there is no greater recognition of your hard work and commitment to e-learning than winning an E-Learning Award.  Reaching the shortlist is really something to shout about. Winning is proof to your, clients, colleagues and rivals that you're at the top of your game – a shining example to the learning and technology world.    Elearning! Learning Champions Award    TBC, likely to be December '16   The first annual Learning! Champion Awards recognizes individuals for exceptional contributions to the industry. Nominees can be innovators, thought-leaders, trail-blazers, mentors, cutting-edge technologists, rookie of the year, creative consultants, or high performing learning leaders that positively impact the learning industry.  Nominate a client, leader or mentor for consideration.    IMGA International Mobile Gaming Awards    EU Applications closed January'16, but applications are open for the IMGA China, Application Deadline September '16   In 2004 games were made for phones with a resolution 176 x 220 pixels and they had to be below 1 MB in size. Now games are running on devices with 2,048 x 1,536 pixels and many games are heavier than 1 GB. The first IMGA had 85 entrants and it took only half a day to judge them. Now, more than 1000 entries are expected and 20 judges will begin pre-judging three weeks before the actual 2-day judging session in France.    Serious Games and Applications for Health - Papers/Demo/Workshops Submission   Florida, TBC but likely to be November'16   It is with great pleasure that we invite you to participate in the 4th International Conference on Serious Games and Applications for Health, IEEE SeGAH 2016, to be held in Orlando, at the Center for Emerging Media, University of Central Florida, from May 11-13, 2016.    Game Developers Choice Awards   San Francisco and France, TBC   The Game Developers Choice Awards are the premier accolades for peer recognition in the digital games industry. Each year, the Choice Awards recognize and celebrate the creativity, artistry and technical genius of the finest developers and games created in the last year.     VS- Games, Paper Submissions      Applications close 25th March'16    VSGames 2016 aims to continue the series’ overall goals of developing and nurturing theoretical and academic rigour in the discussion of serious games and virtual worlds.    JCSG   - Serious Games Papers Submission   Australia, Application Deadline May'16   We invite researchers, developers, practitioners, designers, writers and artists of serious games to submit their work and join us at JCSG 2016. Accepted papers are expected to present high quality material that illustrates the broad range of work in serious games and gamification, with particular interest in best practice and field / case studies, but also underlying theories, models, designs, and artwork. We seek submissions on serious games, supported on, or across, any technology and delivery platforms, including traditional or novel, augmented and virtual reality, mobile and location-based, and transmedia, etc.    IITSEC   Application Deadline November '16   To recognize the impact of individuals and teams upon not only the I/ITSEC Conference but the greater Training, Modeling and Simulation Community, a variety of awards and recognitions have been established. Each has its own method of nomination and award process, please select the specific award for details and history.     Serious Games Conf, CeBIT    TBC   Under the heading Virtual & Other Realities the 9th Serious Games Conference (SGC) focuses on Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and other digital application environments. Since 2015 the SGC also looks at Applied Interactive Technoligies (APITs) and therefore integrates the potentials for the industry 4.0. Consequently the conference approaches sociocultural as well as economic potentials in the field of Serious Games and Gamification.    

Comment

SERIOUS GAMES AWARDS

Here is a list of awards for serious games, its a work in progress so please contact us if you know of any more we can add - or any more detail about submission deadlines for next year's awards...

Comment

       Wait...games are good for you?   It seems there are new risks to our health being discovered every week. Everything is a risk, from stuttering car exhausts to the calming flicker of a candle! Our bodies are under constant attack and it us up to each of us to protect ourselves from these risks as best we can.  I can hear some of you guys sighing right now. Don’t worry, this isn’t a sermon. We are going to look at how games (yes games obviously!) can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle and even aid recovery for certain ailments. Afterwards we'll take a quick look at new technologies the medical community are using to improve healthcare.  Let’s dive in.     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     We all know “prevention is better than the cure”. Leading a healthy lifestyle and looking after yourself gives you the best chance at fighting any future health issues and avoiding a world of others. One aspect of a healthy lifestyle is, of course, our fitness.  According to the  Mayo Clinic  healthy adults should “ get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity… ” If you are like me and class exercising as a chore but do have a soft spot for relentless hoards of the undead, then there is a serious game for you! Introducing  Zombie Run ! This Kickstarter success story has been around for 5 years improving the health and fitness of their players regardless of their initial fitness level. Set your exercise activity, stick in some earphones and dive into a captivating Zombie epic. The compelling storyline motivates you to push yourself harder. The reward of the next chapter makes sure you are eagerly awaiting your next training session, not dreading it! It is a great way to improve your fitness.              

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


              Hand in hand with fitness is diet.  We need food to survive and everyone knows sugary, fatty or greasy foods aren’t good for you. So what is? I’ll be honest. I really wanted (and tried very hard) to find a serious game that focused on this area and was available to play. A few titles cropped up in my search ‘JiveHealth’ looks like a great game for kids. ‘Yummy tricks’ was another game that cropped up but, like JiveHealth, wasn’t available to play. If you have suggestions of serious games which promote healthy eating please drop us a line into the comment section.  Moving swiftly on we have  SuperBetter . A game designed to increase your resilience, basically game your way to a (cue Daft Punk) better, stronger, motivated and positive you. Just ten minutes a day playing SuperBetter can add years onto your life. It reduces the symptoms of anxiety and depression, cultivating your self-esteem and confidence. SuperBetter is just one of the games out there helping people take care of their emotional and physical wellbeing.      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Delving in to the more niche uses of serious games, we have  Re-Mission .  Re-Mission was mentioned previously in one of our posts but it is a serious game worth mentioning twice! Re-Mission was developed to help children diagnosed with cancer. Through gameplay it teaches kids about their cancer and the importance medicine plays in recovery. It works at changing attitudes towards chemotherapy so it becomes a positive experience. Studies showed that playing Re-Mission, patients understood more about their disease and were more compliant with their treatment.     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     This is just one example where serious games are helping people on their way to recovery. There are other serious games that focus on different diseases, physical trauma and on-going health issues. Serious  Games for Health  have collated a short list of resources.  There are serious games on there that are used in rehabilitation for patients with physical difficulties,  promoting mobility in the elderly, even Tetris is listed as a treatment for lazy eye syndrome. It always amazes me the health benefits people can get from playing games!  Before starting my research I foresaw serious game mainly being utilised as a training tool for health professionals. I’m not saying I thought surgeons were practicing procedures using Surgeon Simulator! ( Comedic gore alert !) But I had the preconception that serious games would be used exclusively for professional training but I’m happy to report I was wrong. Of course there are some serious games that are used to enhance professional medical training but the majority are for your average Joe who wants to lead a healthier lifestyle, speed up their recovery or better understand any ailments they might have. It is really encouraging to see games being used this way.  I had the same preconceptions about Virtual Reality and its uses in healthcare. In my mind, doctors would be diagnosing AI patients, maybe even practicing rare procedures in Virtual Reality simulations. But there is so much more out there and it is growing in popularity. By 2018 it is estimated to be a $2.4bn industry!     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Take CPR for example. There are already games that focus on training its players to perform CPR in real life should the need arise. Games like  AED Training  and  Hands Only  heavily focus on the actual CPR methodology. I’ll be honest they are basic and a little underwhelming on the graphics and storyline but they get the job done at the end of the day. They provide an avenue for people to learn CPR and for First Aiders to keep their knowledge up-to-date. But for people who want to learn CPR where the entertainment value is important too,  Relive  is the game for you. There is a captivating storyline, comic book style graphics and a whole lot of Sci-fi thrown in for good measure. The game is free to download via Steam so everyone can learn the basics of CPR and hopefully that will prompt them to seriously consider First Aid training. There is also a virtual reality aspect to Relive. Using an Oculus Rift and a mini-VREM (Virtual Reality Enhanced Mannequin) players perform CPR on the mannequin but as if they are in the game environment.  It is such an intriguing area; I’m really looking forward to more games that use virtual reality headsets and other peripherals to bring medical and first aid training to the masses.              

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


              For some more ideas about what’s to come I fully recommend giving this article a  read . For other successes in the VR/Health sector, read how serious games are being incorporated into Stroke patients rehabilitation  here .   If any of you have food/fitness/healthcare serious games you love, please leave a comment and let us know all about them. 

Comment

WAIT...GAMES ARE GOOD FOR YOU?

It seems there are new risks to our health being discovered every week. Everything is a risk, from stuttering car exhausts to the calming flicker of a candle! Our bodies are under constant attack and it us up to each of us to protect ourselves from these risks as best we can.

I can hear some of you guys sighing right now. Don’t worry. . .

Comment

       The 'How Not To' Game    Our partners  How Not 2    create some great video training on how not to do certain skills such as coaching, reviews or difficult conversations. Now our friends over at the FBI have released a game that could basically be a how not to create a serious game.  I have no qualms with their intention – helping young people avoid radicalisation is a good cause but I have issues with the way they have gone about it.  I’m not going to comment a lot on the content but just a few points that struck me… Leaving aside the graphical treatment as we’ll come onto that below– the content delivery is all tell tell tell. There’s no discovery. At the end of the day it’s a fancy menu. There is no connection between game play and content at all, it might as well not be there.  The approach and delivery apart from being patronising and alienating, with community leaders  speaking out strongly against the messages  the site has some really questionable messages:  The radicalisation of young people is a very complex subject matter and the site is based around the concept of don’t be a puppet – well I’m pretty sure if you are on your way to being radicalised then you might well see the US government as being the puppet master and western citizens as the puppets so to me, that doesn’t work.  And you play the game element as a goat… I mean who thought that would be a good idea?  The game design itself is a mixed collection of genres and metaphors as well as technologies and immersion breaking gaffs.         

 

   

     
       Subscribe 
        Sign up to receive our quarterly newsletter on Serious Games - the industry, events and news.  
     

     

       

        

        

          
             
               Email Address 
               
             
          

        

          

        

       

       
            Sign Up    
       

     

    
        We respect your privacy.  
    

     Thank you! 
      

   

 
    

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Screenshot from Slippery Slope game  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     The first element of the experience is an endless runner, or as PJ our creative producer calls it an “endless goater”, where you play a goat, which looks like it could have escaped from Minecraft, avoiding blocks and if you pass a level you get a message about 1 of the 6 steps of the slippery slope of radicalisation. Now I have no beef (or should that be goat) with this style of graphics – Minecraft is incredibly popular after all, so I see where they were going with it, but 3 issues here:  1)      You play a goat… WTH?  2)      The goat is named Poonikins. Poonikins was a mod that introduced a homicidal horse into GTA IV. To see what the horse got up to check out this  video  . So let’s get this straight… you play a character named after a homicidal animal on the slippery slope…. Hmmm  3)      You play on a tablet with PC controls (hmmm) and then when the game is over you zoom out from a Game Boy… but I was just on a tablet. Have I just time travelled. Why!?!?  After the Endless ‘Goater’, you transition into this swishy main interface which zooms round some kind of abandoned garage/underground bunker – this bit I kinda like as there’s a lot of detail and the transitions are quite nice…     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Main room interface  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     ….but then when you get into each section it’s just boring elearning, drag and drop and what makes it worse is that you go from a detailed environment to an interface that has had absolutely no graphical treatment whatsoever – it’s like they couldn’t be bothered!      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Groupthink elearning section - this'll go viral for sure!  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     I ‘ve said before that making good games and good interactions is quite difficult, but seriously – there have been so many rules broken in this one experience it’s almost like a game to spot them themselves.  However the number one, fundamental rule that has been broken here is understanding your audience. Only use a game approach if it will benefit the message – never shoe horn in game mechanics as it’s the cool thing to do, or because kids like games so let’s use one… it just doesn’t work like that.  Games are not suitable for everything, but there have been some great games produced which talk about some pretty serious messages related to war that could be used to spark deeper more useful discussions such as  This War Of Mine  created by 11bitstudios.       
   
     “ This War Of Mine provides an experience of war seen from an entirely new angle. For the very first time you do not play as an elite soldier, rather a group of civilians trying to survive in a besieged city. During the day snipers outside stop you from leaving your refuge, so you need to focus on maintaining your hideout. At night you get a chance to scavenge nearby locations for items that will help you stay alive. Make life-and-death decisions driven by your conscience. Try to protect everybody from your shelter or sacrifice some of them to endure the hardships. During war, there are no good or bad decisions; there is only survival. The sooner you realize that, the better.  ” 
   
  
      Or how about September 12th described by  Games for Change  as      
   
     “ The New York Times described September 12th as “An Op-Ed composed not of words but of actions”. This newsgame became a viral hit by exposing the futility of the US-led War on Terror. Created by a team of Uruguayan game developers lead by a former CNN journalist, this was the first game of the series that coined the term newsgame. The project’s main idea was to use the language of videogames to describe current events while conveying a timeless maxim: violence begets more violence. The player controls what seems to be a sniper rifle target but, when clicked, launches missiles. The bombs not only kill the terrorists but also generate so-called “collateral damage”. When civilians mourn the innocent dead they soon turn into terrorists. After a couple of minutes, this Middle-Eastern village is destroyed and crawling with terrorists. The player soon realizes that there is no way to win the game through shooting. The game’s main goal was not to convince people that the War on Terror was wrong. Instead, it aimed at triggering discussion among young players.   ” 
   
  
     
 So there are better ways to get the message across, to spark debate and have meaningful and enlightening conversations. Overall it seems the funders and producers of this game experience haven’t really thought through all the implications of the messages and delivery medium but they have given us a good case study of how not to create a serious game. 

1 Comment

THE 'HOW NOT TO' GAME

Our friends over at the FBI have released a game that could basically be a how not to create a serious game.

I have no qualms with their intention – helping young people avoid radicalisation is a good cause but I have issues with the way they have gone about it. 

1 Comment

       Battle for the best leadership development    Does the thought of an away day building a raft with your colleagues leave you feeling excited or nauseous?  Does a new concept in leadership training; (a 3D multiplayer online puzzle-based game, set on a tropical island -  see video here ), float your boat or sink your sandbags?!  We compare traditional ‘outward bound’ style leadership activities with leadership development serious game “ Unlock: Leadership ”.       

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        HITS   A change of environment, fresh air  The group bonding effect of being out of one’s comfort zone  The buzz (for those who enjoy that kind of thing!)   MISSES   Large group out of the office for a whole day or more and the opportunity cost associated with that  The dread…falling out of the raft and getting soaked - standing around in the cold  The expense  Pre-existing group dynamics still perpetuate  Lack of effectiveness – it was fun, but what did we learn?! Translating back to the day job  Need to have all participants in same physical location – travel costs  Not inclusive - and possibly divisive as less physically able people cannot participate in the same way in some activities  Efforts involved in setting up the activity including exploring the alternatives, booking in advance, arranging travel and accommodation etc      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Inwardly feeling the Outward Bound fear  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


             

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        HITS   A new and unique game experience  Group bonding out of comfort zone (psychologically but not mentally)  An exciting prospect for those who are open minded about using games (increasing majority of today’s workforce)  Only one group of four needs to be away from their work at a time, although there can be multiples of four  Depending on whether the game is facilitated it can take as little as 2 hours or can be stretched to a day with supporting exercises and reflection  The fear is reduced – physical discomfort and embarrassment are no longer an issue. There may be some trepidation about the unknown, but this is positive  Expense is significantly reduced. Unlock: Leadership is priced below training days and with the absence of travel costs, and opportunity costs of time away from the office, the net cost is far more manageable – meaning it can be rolled out to a wider group of workers  The anonymity in the game, combined with the mechanic of using instant messaging to communicate levels the playing field. All voices can be heard – not just the loudest. The game has also been designed to switch roles, allowing each player their moment to step up as leader  Integrated feedback, as well as a summative report on performance, mean that the learners take away information that they can apply to their positions after the game even if it is played without any facilitation. The addition of facilitators can further enhance the learning benefit  There is no need to ship anyone anywhere. Unlock: Leadership is accessed online and can be played anywhere around the world  Consistency - not affected by surroundings, weather, participants moods   MISSES   Its more screen-time, and lacks the invigorating fresh air of an outward bound experience (*unless you take your laptop outdoors!)  Some learners might resist a computer game as a serious training medium – until they play it. The game’s been designed so that even the most extreme technophobe can pick it up intuitively      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


          And the winner is....  We think you should decide for yourself!  Contact Totem Learning  today for a free demo.    

Comment

BATTLE FOR THE BEST LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

Does the thought of an away day building a raft with your colleagues leave you feeling excited or nauseous?

Does a new concept in leadership training; (a 3D multiplayer online puzzle-based game, set on a tropical island), float your boat or sink your sandbags?!

We compare leadership development serious game “Unlock: Leadership” with traditional ‘outward bound’ style leadership activities.

Comment

       Team Totem 2016    New Year is always a time for looking forward to the year ahead – our team have been discussing what’s on their radar for 2016 and here are some highlights:                 

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        PJ (Creative Producer)    2016 will have a heavy focus on VR and AR technologies in the gaming space. However it will be a slow growth process as unit price points, technology processing power and rendering speeds will hamper these technologies in becoming truly ubiquitous in 2016.   That’s not to say that these technologies won’t be hugely profitable for some hardware manufacturers and game developers, as early adopters will always invest in new technologies and new game IP. What will be interesting to see is, the creative use of these technologies and who and which variants of these technologies come out on top.                   

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        Helen Routledge (Head of Design and Production)    In 2016 the trend towards understanding the real value in ‘proper’ gaming techniques and mechanics over just slapping badges and scores onto content will continue. The ‘easy’ trend of gamifying content has saturated the market place and we are seeing commissioners of content as well as learners shy away from these cheap tricks to boost short term engagement.   More and more we are hearing that gamified elearning just isn’t ‘doing it’ for learners; many elearning providers have replaced the classic next button with a dice graphic – it still performs the same function, it’s just, now it’s a fancy next button.     In terms of which areas of learning will do well in 2016 for me, I believe soft skills will continue to thrive and personally I’d love to see the area of recruitment move forward – as the possibilities of using games to evaluate possible new recruits are huge!  Also I forecast huge book sales!     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


               

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        Stuart Jackson (Artist)    The “big thing” I’m most excited about in the year ahead is the advancements in procedural generation in games. Many of this year’s up and coming games include procedural generation, especially “ No Mans Sky ”. Having technology that pushes the boundaries of design is something I think will inspire the future of serious games!      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


                         

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        Amy Wing (Media Production and Marketing Executive)    I’m looking forward to seeing more 360 degree videos in 2016. There have already been some interesting applications already. In 2015 we've seen examples used on news channels and film trailers. This week, Pixar are releasing their first 360 animation, which is really exciting. But the most interesting aspect is the doors this opens for documentaries. The immersive nature of 360 filming gives film makers an avenue to reach their audience in ways never before possible.  The most prominent example from 2015 is  Polar Sea 360 . This hybrid of 360 filming and traditional filming techniques explores the effects of the changing Artic environment. The focus is how this change effects the Inuit population. To date it is the best use of 360 filming I have seen. The attention to sound, the care taken to cuts, ensuring a fluid immersive experience for viewers I suspect, is just a taste of what’s to come in 2016.                                             

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


               

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        Vicky Rose (Head of Communications)    This year it would be great to see more collaborative (crowd sourced) problem solving.  One of Nesta’s predictions for 2016 is that Universities will move on from their individualistic heritage and become challenge driven, harnessing the collective brainpower of students worldwide to solve sustainable development goals.  We’ve seen it in the gaming world: Back in 2011, players of  Foldit , an online puzzle game about protein folding solved a molecular puzzle in 3 weeks where researchers had worked on the problem for 13 years.  Cancer Research released Play to Cure™:  Genes in Space  – the world’s first free mobile game that uses the collective force of players to analyse real genetic data and help beat cancer sooner.      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     A comprehensive list of citizen science games can be found  here . Technology helps with networking individuals and games are a great way to drive engagement and increase accessibility in some of the more complex problems.                     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        Richard Smith (MD)    I agree with PJ on VR in 2016. Oculus Rift and Windows HoloLens among many other devices are released and the API to integrate will be built in to Unity and other game engines. Gamification is about to crash in to the Gartner chasm in the Hypecycle. People are going to realise that is it not the answer to everything and has limited used in many applications such as L & D.       

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Serious Games to rise further as a serious experiential medium, fuelled by the technology advances, the faster and greater uptake of VR and other tech and the realisation mentioned above about gamification and it’s limited suitability in l & d Experiential/immersive learning whether “virtual” or real with things like “escape games”, role play, actors etc. Making learning as real as possible is going to be a trend too.                          Tom Cutler (Developer)     CES 2016  is currently on over the next few days, which is the consumer electronics show, so some interesting new tech will probably surface over the next few days. I know that the consumer version of the oculus rift is available for  preorder  now so I also expect to see a huge surge in VR activity.     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


                         

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        Mark Pocock (Artist)    While I also agree with PJ that VR is going to the centre of attention in 2016, I would also like to point out, the strive for ever more realistic graphics is also turning a rather sharp corner. It doesn’t take a genius to compare game graphics from 10 years ago and now, to see that things have moved on significantly as it did in the decade before that and before that etc.. But in the few years or so the introduction of Physical Based Rendering (PBR), has seen visual believability step up to a whole new level.  In the background we have some fantastic shader coding that has allowed for believable specularity, reflections and global illumination across various platforms and hardware specifications.      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      In the foreground are the Artists who utilise this technology to create beautiful visuals that brings the games industry nearer to film level CGI. So my feeling is that with tools such as Substance Painter/Designer and Quixel; we will start to see more flexible artistic workflows which in some cases ignore the likes of Photoshop with more focus on the development of material/substance libraries for painting straight onto models, to create lush looking PBR textures for use in top end engines, of whom are forever improving and expanding on their usage of it to push boundaries.   In summary I believe 2016 to be the year of PBR. Companies are already trying to push graphics to the next level using this new technology.  With games such as The Order: 1886 and Assassin’s Creed: Unity already showing this off in 2015, by 2016 I would expect its usage to be more mainstream.      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


         

Comment

TEAM TOTEM 2016

New Year is always a time for looking forward to the year ahead – our team have been discussing what’s on their radar for 2016 and here are some highlights:

Comment

       Take a look at our infographic!    The infographic below illustrates how our new 3D, online, multiplayer game uses learning psychology together with game mechanics to deliver an engaging, immersive, learning experience designed to develop leadership capabilities.  Scroll down to see how the narrative unravels; After a raging storm, you (the player), find yourself shipwrecked, alone on  a mysterious island. Proceed through a series of 'levels' each challenging different skills - as you progress, you'll discover that you are in fact, not alone but must work with others to achieve your common goal.  The final part of the graphic details the design thinking behind the game, Originally designed by our head of design and production, Helen Routledge, author of  "Why Games Are Good For Business, How to Leverage the Power of Serious Games, Gamification and Simulations" Published by Palgrave Macmillan.    The game can be compared to a sandbox style game in that it provides the foundation (or bones) of the experience, it is the interaction of the four players, playing simultaneously within the game world that creates unique experiences and learning opportunities with each play.  If you're interested in seeing a little more of the actual in-game graphics and puzzles - check out our  video , or  get in touch  to try the game for yourself!

Comment

TAKE A LOOK AT OUR INFOGRAPHIC!

The infographic below illustrates how our new 3D, online, multiplayer game uses learning psychology together with game mechanics to deliver an engaging, immersive, learning experience designed to develop leadership capabilities.

Scroll down to see how the narrative unravels; After a raging storm, you (the player), find yourself shipwrecked, alone on  a mysterious island. Proceed through a series of 'levels' each challenging different

Comment

       Unlock: Employability: The Game       

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     There’s been a lot of talk recently about the need to address the employability skills gap; for example the  UK government has brought in changes to education inspections  from September 2015, giving a higher profile for employability skills promotion, and an independent  report by McDonalds  clarifies the challenges and draws recommendations. At Totem we’ve got our own recommendations too! But first; here’s the background:   97% of UK employers  believe  soft skills are vital  for business success, with certain soft skills (communication and team work) being considered more important than academic achievements– yet  more than half of UK workers admit to not listing soft skills  anywhere  on their CV.  McDonalds report declares that in the  next five years over half a million workers  will struggle to progress due to soft skill short comings. This is estimated to amount to a  loss of almost £923 million, a year, by 2020 and almost £1.08 billion by 2025.   This isn’t the only cost a skills gap is going to generate. Due to the shortage of workers with appropriate skills, there will be unfilled positions in companies. This shortage of workers will generate a  loss of production, costing a further £7.44 billion, per annum, by 2020 rising to £14 billion by 2025 . A huge hit to UK businesses! This outcome may not be able to be averted completely however the cost can be reduced if greater esteem is given to soft skills now.  So what are soft skills and how can we develop them?  According to the report, soft skills can be broken up into six key clusters:   Communication skills, for example: effective listening, appropriate and good use of questions, clear and concise direction  Decision Making/Problem Solving, eg. The ability to identify and analyse an issue, take effective and appropriate action, recognise effect of decision  Self-Management skills, eg. Self-motivated and proactive personality traits, loyalty, adaptability and the ability to work well under pressure  Teamwork skills, eg. Positive and encouraging attitude, accountability, willingness to share ideas and listen to others’ views, punctual  Professionalism skills, eg. Appropriate language use, trustworthy, accepting of criticism, realistic understanding of job role    Leadership skills, eg. Strategic thinking, conflict management, respect for others knowledge, recognise others strengths and weaknesses, ability to build relationships   These are the skills that need to be developed for businesses and workers to progress over the next decade. If focus is given to these skills now and our attitudes towards them change, the gap can be bridged to some extent. The huge losses in production and progress will be reduced.  One suggestion, by the report, is to make soft skills training available to employees, equipping workers with appropriate skills for the future. McDonalds showed their devotion to training, and innovative thinking, in 2006; serious games were introduced into employee training and it proved very effective. Since 2006 the serious game industry has grown and improved. They are being used in all sectors for training, growing awareness, even in the school classroom.  Shouldn’t there be a game that can offer soft skills training? Here at Totem Learning we are happy to declare that we have a modern solution to this growing problem.  Introducing, Unlock: Employability!     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


         Unlock: Employability  is a serious game for the education sector (aka game-based learning). It enables soft skill development for students through immersive, challenging game play and team work. Set on a mysterious tropical island, learners must work together to solve puzzles and be selected for their dream job.  The game must be played in teams of four – each player at their own PC. Communication is exclusively in game via an instant messaging window. This serves three purposes. The first is to train student’s communication skills, a vital soft skill for the workplace. Players will quickly learn that to succeed, they must give clear and concise direction to their team mates. The second is because it levels the playing field, those that ‘shout the loudest’ will not have the advantage. The third purpose is so all communication can be captured and assessed. Teachers can use this information to guide students on any area they struggle with and also commend them for areas they excel at.  Screens at the end of each level also provide the player with feedback on their strengths and weaknesses. The feedback screens highlight how these traits are applicable in the workplace and further ways to develop them.  Unlock: Employability is just one example of how serious games can combat real issues in the classroom, workplace, even healthcare. For further information on serious games that you can license for use in your classroom, or commission bespoke, contact the totem team today!        </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"

Comment

UNLOCK: EMPLOYABILITY: THE GAME

There’s been a lot of talk recently about the need to address the employability skills gap –for example the UK government has brought in changes to education inspections from September 2015, giving a higher profile for employability skills promotion and an independent report by McDonalds clarifies the challenges and draws recommendations. At Totem we’ve got our own recommendations too! But first; here’s the background:

Comment

         Remembrance Day                         97 years ago, on the 11th of November, the most horrific war the world had ever witnessed ended.  World War I had a final death toll of 17 million people and a further 20 million wounded. It was labelled the ‘Great War’, ‘the war to end all wars’. The 11th of November was made a day of remembrance and reverence, a day to pay our respects to those who actively fought for our freedom and allowed for us to live in the comfort we enjoy today.  Nowadays this tradition is upheld on the closest Sunday to the 11th of November, Remembrance Sunday. Since 1914 an estimated  191,356,238    people have lost their lives fighting in wars around the world. Once a year we take the time to remember them, appreciate them. We show our support together, as a nation, by wearing the symbolic  red poppies .   There are many ways we can grow our appreciation for those who have gave their lives for their country. Games may not immediately jump to mind. Initially, games could be considered a disrespectful or inappropriate way to show appreciation. However, there are many games that can give a taste of the true atrocity war is; this is important to appreciate so war is never thought of trivially, as a solution or first resort.  We have carefully selected a short list of games can be used to teach about war and its' realities rather than using war as an entertainment device.         

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     The first on our list is one of the highest rated war games there is to ‘play’.   Verdun    pays great attention to detail; using authentic weaponry from World War I, even the music is typical of the era. For anyone who wants to really learn how horrific the trenches were, this is a great resource.    Making History: The Great War   launched with the National World War I Museum. This game aims to teach players the complexities of war. It is a strategy game where the player can fight to change the course of history. The game has key events that follow World War I’s path. It is best used as a tool for understanding what countries were involved in World War I and the roles each of them had.    War Thunder   doesn’t proclaim to be a teaching tool, however, it focuses its attention on the vehicles and crafts used throughout World War II. Like Verdun, they pay very close attention to detail. A good resource to learn more about the aircraft, ships, tanks and the people that operated them.  Stepping into present times and modern warfare we have   Americas Army, Proving Ground  . This game has been developed by the U.S. army as a recruitment tool. It is supposed to test whether the player is suitable to become an U.S. Army soldier, through analysing how the player works as part of a team, makes decisions, etc.     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     The last on the list of games I would really like to highlight is   This War of Mine  . This game looks at war from a different point of view. The player is responsible for the lives of a small group of civilians trying to survive in a war zone. The game progression changes dependant on the player’s choices and the moral implications of those choices. In March 11bit studios released a DLC for This War of Mine, 100% of proceeds go to the charity ‘ War Child ’. Games like these, games that teach, games which draw attention to real and serious issues should be noted and appreciated. They help us learn about ourselves, test our values and educate us.  These types of games grow our appreciation for the sacrifices made. This is just a short collection of games that harness war as a teaching device rather than as an entertainment gimmick. If there are others that are worth noting, please drop us a comment.       

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
          
             
                  
             
          
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
          
             
                  
             
          
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
          
             
                  
             
          
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
          
             
                  
             
          
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


       Worth noting, the  Humble Bundle  package is supporting the  American Red Cross ,  Direct Relief  and  IGDA Foundation   this month.       

Comment

REMEMBRANCE DAY

97 years ago, on the 11th of November, the most horrific war the world had ever witnessed ended.

World War I had a final death toll of 17 million people and a further 20 million wounded. It was labelled the ‘Great War’, ‘the war to end all wars’. The 11th of November was made a day of remembrance and reverence. . .

Comment

       Game-based Learning and the Ugandan Charity    Totem learning has been supporting Ugandan charity  The Butterfly Project  through the donation of its  Business Game , so that young entrepreneurs can learn through play.  The Butterfly Project is a unique project in Uganda, which trains up young people from the most remote rural villages and disadvantaged urban slum districts to become social entrepreneurs.   The game has been installed in the learning centres so budding entrepreneurs can try out and hone their business skills.  We’ve had a recent update from the charity on how the game has been received and we thought we’d share it with you!  Here are some photos of members using the game as part of The Butterfly Project’s entrepreneurship training session.     



  

  


 
   
    
      

        
          
             
              
                    
              

              
                
              
                
             
          
          
        

        

        

      

        
          
             
              
                    
              

              
                
              
                
             
          
          
        

        

        

      

        
          
             
              
                    
              

              
                
              
                
             
          
          
        

        

        

      

        
          
             
              
                    
              

              
                
              
                
             
          
          
        

        

        

      

        
          
             
              
                    
              

              
                
              
                
             
          
          
        

        

        

      
    
   

  

 





     Feedback was that the kids did extremely well, with “one group having three profitable production lines, the second had two, though somewhat less profitable.  The third group took three attempts to make a profit, but eventually did so.” Ben Parkinson, The Butterfly Project  Apparently the kids have even followed up much of the week to have another try – which illustrates the beauty of games in a nutshell!

Comment

GAME-BASED LEARNING AND THE UGANDAN CHARITY

Totem learning has been supporting Ugandan charity The Butterfly Project through the donation of its Business Game, so that young entrepreneurs can learn through play.

Comment

       Do Serious games really work?    So do they?  Yes they do and we have metrics to demonstrate ‘ Return On Engagement ’!  Earlier this year Totem Learning designed and developed a game to educate business owners on greener IT practices. The game develops players’ understanding of IT issues within their company and supports them to implement better, greener practices.  A few months on, we can report that ‘Green IT’ has been a great success! The report has shown that learners finished the game with a full understanding of green IT practices. Not only was the level of learning very high, the game was so effective that it provoked a proactive attitude and action in many of the learners!            

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


           Here is just a cross section of facts and figures from the report:    92% of learners sought out more information on greener practices upon finishing the game    96% either have or are considering taking a course on energy saving business practices    23% are actively seeking assistance from local sources for implementation of these newly learnt practices, while 70% plan to in the near future    89% said they have, or would, recommend the ‘Green IT’ game to colleagues                  As for the design and enjoyment of the game:     71%  of learners found the scenarios and tasks within the game were directly applicable to their own companies.     59%  agreed the value of insights from the game were good or excellent.    And  79%  found it easy to use.   This is a brief look at the learning benefits achievable through using serious games but it is a brilliant outcome for this project and we are looking forward to sharing more great reports like this in the future! 

Comment

DO SERIOUS GAMES REALLY WORK?

Yes they do and we have metrics to demonstrate ‘Return On Engagement’!

Earlier this year Totem Learning designed and developed a game to educate business owners on greener IT practices. The game develops players’ understanding of IT issues within their company and supports them to implement better, greener practices.

Comment

       The Struggle all designers will eventually face and how to combat it      A blog by Joe Watson, our resident Instructional & Game Designer    A Loose Definition  This isn’t a problem unique to videogames or game design. There are likely others names for the phenomenon, but it is best embodied by a particular saying: being ‘too close’ to a project, often such that one is unable to perceive flaws or consider elements objectively.   Why me?  There are a couple of reasons why you might become afflicted.  The first is that, much like the follies of hubris, design blindness is especially predisposed to the passionate and the knowledgeable. Our best can be our worst. Designers that rely too heavily on experience (first or second-hand), or those with steadfast convictions about the way things should be done, can frequently overlook the unique circumstances of a problem laid before them.   Immediately jumping to a solution for an issue, without any real consideration for alternatives, can be highly indicative of this.   Another is the understanding that no one can fully divorce themselves from their design. These plans are spawned of us and our personal human experience. Our work is a reflection of us and as such it is hard to mark oneself inadequate, especially before others.   It is hard to create something, using care and passion, and accept that you hate the result of all you poured into it.   One might consider the extenuating circumstances around the project’s ideation and production. Sometimes it is not the designer but their environment or the relationship they hold with the project. Negative pressure, such as anxieties about deadlines, disputes with colleagues, or additional influences from a myriad of potential sources can affect one’s judgement and outlook toward the project.   Some difficulties and worries are to be expected, but no one working to get the project out of the way or avoiding it altogether can perform at their best.    Consider this  In actuality, most cases of design blindness tend to be a combination of the aforementioned. You have been working on a project for a long time. It started smoothly enough, but now you are in danger of beginning to slide either over-budget or past deadlines. An issue arises, flagged by the overly-involved and vocal client. You only need to take the gist of their problem before you’re thinking back to possible solutions, mindful of cost and time to implement. You immediately discard some options and pick one that seems reasonable or maybe a selection of options for the client to choose from, making your suggestion with the weight of your expertise and the belief you know best. Which, of course, you may very well do – in that instance – yet there was little due consideration for the client’s concerns or the alternatives potentially available to you.   In Short  If you think that you are immune to design blindness, then you aren’t. The truth of the matter is that everyone is susceptible, in the same way that we are incapable of ever being truly objective. All we can do is implement as many precautions as possible to mitigate the effect.   What can be done?   Humility is the first step.  You can’t be aware of the risk without accepting it as a genuine threat.   You will also find it invaluable to avoid designing in a vacuum.    - You should always be involved with the client and other stakeholders - Take it a step further and bring in other designers to critique your work - If the project’s status permits, test and test again with the intended end-users! - Align with your team by sharing your vision personally – be available and visit regularly   Always find out as much as you can about a given project or influencing circumstances of a problem.   - The more you know, the more of an informed decision you can make - Presumptions are often costly affairs in the end – the worst are the unconscious ones - Think back to past projects and run through a checklist of things you may have forgotten to ask about or consult colleagues for other angles - After you think you understand, make sure you do. Align your understanding with the client or stakeholders – see that it matches up before proceeding - Finally, always try to perform further research. You might have solutions already, but there are likely more worth considering

Comment

THE STRUGGLE ALL DESIGNERS WILL EVENTUALLY FACE AND HOW TO COMBAT IT

A blog by Joe Watson, our resident Instructional & Game Designer

A Loose Definition
This isn’t a problem unique to videogames or game design. There are likely others names for the phenomenon, but it is best embodied by a particular . . .

Comment

       Foundational leadership skills in Unlock: Leadership        

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Pop leadership theories into Google and you’ll be faced with a vast array of theories such as the great man theory, trait theory, the managerial grid or transformational leadership theory (to list just a few).  These theories describe how leaders come about – whether through natural capabilities and talents or through hard work and determination.  When we designed Unlock: Leadership it was important for us to create a platform that underlined all, or as many of the leadership principles that are in common use today. Therefore we decided to focus on the underlying, or foundation skills of leadership. Now when we say foundation, we don’t mean basic, rather think of it in terms of a building foundations –creating a solid platform for future development.   It was also important to focus on these foundation skills as they are transferable, transferable across multiple sectors that is. Every sector needs leaders and all leaders need skills such as communication, conflict handling, decision making, problem solving and the ability to effectively negotiate.     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Throughout the design process we came up with a series of puzzles that really challenged these skills. By playing around with information, different viewpoints, and differing player goals we created a series of challenges allowing players to level up their leadership skills as they progressed.  For example we start with pure problem solving to get the users into the mind set of tackling puzzles. We then progress onto conflict handling, coaching and communication. With each level we layer up the complexity. But it’s not just the puzzles that focus on these foundation skills. The entire game narrative, environment and goal are designed to elicit certain behaviours and move players towards a specific way of feeling. Through the game’s pacing, players are confronted with uncertainty, frustration, joy and relief. We have created an emotive environment where we give leaders the opportunity to rise above these emotions or succumb to feelings of self-doubt, only to be pulled up and supported by the rest of the team.   Throughout the entire Unlock: Leadership game experience, players are discovering, using and refining their leadership abilities.    Follow this link for more information, or to attend one of our forthcoming events to demo the game.

FOUNDATIONAL LEADERSHIP SKILLS IN UNLOCK: LEADERSHIP  

Pop leadership theories into Google and you’ll be faced with a vast array of theories such as the great man theory, trait theory, the managerial grid or transformational leadership theory (to list just a few).  These theories describe how leaders come about – whether through natural capabilities and talents or through hard work and determination.

When we designed Unlock: Leadership it was important for us to create a platform that underlined all of, or as many of, the leadership principles that are in common use today. 

       'Alas, poor Yorick' Unlock: Leadership and the story of the skulls...   Did you know that the hand gesture for ‘ok’, in the UK, also means zero in France but is considered an offensive gesture in Germany? Neither did I.                    
                    You're washed up on a beach after a mystic storm sinks your ship. On the horizon, an imposing Aztec temple captures your  imagination.  - Aztecs formed the inspiration for Unlock: Leadership’s environments and settings. They have a deep, culturally rich history that often featured skulls and skeletons. For example, Coatlicue, a much revered Aztec god, wore skulls. She was a symbol of earth and life to the Aztecs.  Choosing to feature skeletons in Unlock: Leadership, was a natural thought progression. From early sketches it was clear they were going to suit their environment and could be utilised as helpful aides throughout the game for the players. When they were modelled and placed into the game, they looked awesome!        

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        But there was a problem. Despite the often positive connotations of skulls and skeletons in Aztec culture, there had to be a consideration for their symbolism in other cultures. Like the innocent ‘ok’ gesture, symbolism changes dependent on culture and location. Skeletons and skulls had the potential to offend and alienate players; not the desired outcome for a game that’s purpose is to enable team building, communication development and leadership training. After a long internal debate, the difficult decision was made and the skeletons had to be put to rest.  But what to replace them with? Monkeys! - yes you heard right! Monkeys are figures of intelligence: thought of heroic in certain cultures and symbols of knowledge and positive energy in others. They are even associated with the sun and enlightenment in Aztec culture. The perfect fit for a game serious about leadership skills!   

Comment

'ALAS, POOR YORICK' UNLOCK: LEADERSHIP AND THE STORY OF THE SKULLS…

Did you know that the hand gesture for ‘ok’, in the UK, also means zero in France but is considered an offensive gesture in Germany? Neither did I.

Comment