Serious Play. Seriously.

Phaedra Boinodiris is an author and Member of IBM’s Academy of Technology, which means she initiates start-ups within IBM. Yeah. That’s right. She’s known as one of the top 100 women in the games industry. Her earlier work in serious games is being used in >1000 schools worldwide to teach students the fundamentals of business optimization.”

She spoke at #CIL2019 last month, and then talked informally with 20 of us in the Library Leaders Summit for an hour. We talked about her PhD, AI and bias, technology and ethics, and using games to shift cultures. I was mesmerized. I’m a board gamer, and have long recognized how games sharpen our thinking, particularly our strategic thinking. I played Risk for days the summer our nephews were 13 and 15. It was sharpen up Aunt Beck or die and I wasn’t about to die on that board. I learned. Fast.

Phaedra talked about using real-time strategy games to think through different scenarios. Or using a game to optimize a process by changing small decisions. Wow. I want those games. Every library management team should want those games. Wow. We need to learn. Fast.

Here’s the video of Phaedra’s keynote (start it 12 minutes in). Definitely worth watching. We need to get serious about our play. Each play libraries make in this society, in this economy, is serious. And check out Phaedra’s Serious Games for Business: Using Gamification to Fully Engage Customers, Employees and Partner. Let’s adapt it for libraries, not-for-profits and academies — or maybe someone already has?

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