play hard learn fast
Dutch site

Why games work

The power of simulations and games is due to the effectiveness of experiential learning, as succinctly shown in the diagram on the left. In simulations and games, dilemmas and mechanisms found in reality are made tangible in powerful ways. This creates the opportunity to practice and to experiment with (new) behavior. The immediate feedback furthermore stimulates reflection, and new insights can be tested time and again: the learning cycle. The game experience, emotions and (sometimes) painful moments cause these new insights to confront and challenge existing preconceptions. This can mark the start of an internalization of new insights. In fact, the games often present a confronting mirror that makes the participants aware that there is (much) room for improvement, while simultaneously appealing to their motivation. Learning also takes place, both during and after the game, at group level: through the shared experience and collective debriefing, the participants tune in to the same wavelength and can develop a shared language for the problem definition and/or the challenge facing their company or organization. Briefly put: games are not just challenging and fun, but they especially achieve a rapid learning process through the face-to-face game experience, the emotions this triggers, and the group debriefing afterwards.