There are several tabletop games that hold the potential to be an effective Open Educational Resource, but the packaging does not always showcase the potential of the content. They are mostly evaluated in terms of the fun factor. This is also the hidden strength of the medium that it renders the educational layer so obliviously that the players imbibe it in a very natural manner.
Gaming is one of the largest existing industries and yet it has very low presence in the context of OER. Despite of there being millions of tabletop games, existing and dedicated crowd-sourced resources about them, when one looks for the right game to teach a particular topic, it is very difficult to find one. The games need to be also evaluated on the basis of the knowledge and skill they impart so that they could be put to the right use in the education sector.
There are thousands of freely-licensed games distributed online by the creators and there is so less documentation on the game play strategies and manuals that need to be sourced and segregated at one place in open standard. With the right segregated information, it could do wonder for the educational industry without involving for much investment.
The “GameEd Archive” is a proposed initiative in ideation, that aims at solving the aforementioned problems. The existing game information resources have a vast user base and the same could be tapped to get the additional information required about the games leading to right categorization. If a student in some part of the world wishes to learn more about a topic, e.g. continental drift, with the help of right filters and keywords they could get access to all the free games about the desired topic and can engage in a playful interaction and conversation with their fellow students.
The best part is, existing resources like boardgamegeek.com could be used as a source for extracting these informations, without having to cultivate a community from scratch, that is willing and happy to share information about games. With the increase in the number of startups around the idea of ‘Learning through Play’, the viability of the cause vouches for itself. More and more parents and school organisations are making a move towards introducing ‘Play’ in education. But not every kid can afford the luxury to access such education system. Game-ed aims to bridge this gap and make the idea of ‘Learning through Play’ affordable for all.
However, the concept could be self-challenging in term of giving the kids the freedom to take moral decisions, that they might not be prepared for, and hence the absence of mentorship can be a possible challenge for the development of one’s conscience. These, and many other issues could be tackled if a right approach is adopted to implement the idea.