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Entertainment x Education - a co-creation lab

What if we could integrate games and virtual experiences better into the day-to-day context of education, and vice versa?

Photo of Maike Gericke
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I am a.....

  • Innovator

Tell us about your idea

What if we could integrate games and virtual experiences better into the day-to-day context of education?

What if we could bring stories into games that are grounded in the values and causes that are complementary to existing school curriculums, and equally important in building new generations of engaged and empowered citizens?

There is an increasing demand on teachers to bring classroom content into an engaging digital format. They see themselves confronted with an increasing importance of digital competency, tools and skills that might be overwhelming and out of their comfort zone.

On the other hand, students are the ones that are already heavily engaged in these worlds, but from the context of entertainment. In times of isolation and decreased travel and outside time, home entertainment takes up more and more importance. Some of the behaviours and habits we are building during the crisis might stay with us longer than the bans and curfews. 

The need for homeschooling and full time engagement also puts a lot of constraints on parents, especially as these constraints are often mixed with other difficulties, for example keeping up with a challenging job or crisis-related mental health issues at the same times. Even the best parents are overwhelmed during isolation times, and workload might force them to leave children up to their “own devices” - which often means activities like games or other experiences.

Gaming and education?

Video gaming is an area that many children and teenagers, given they have access to equipment, spend most of their time, providing major and often untapped educational opportunities. Most popular games are currently created by independent teams, often with commercial interest, outside the broader context of education.

Because of this context, a lot of the “mainstream” games are working towards underpinning existing stereotypes, are far removed from real world problems and achievements, and putting out a notion of heroism and achievement that is hardly obtainable in the real world. 

At the same time, there are amazing examples and initiatives emerging that show the possibilities of bringing these worlds closer together. 

What could bring these worlds closer together?

An innovation platform that unites educators, game developers, other digital experts and innovators, users (students) and people working on real life causes that could form the basis for new educational content.

Outputs of this platform could be: 

On the short term:

Guiding educators in the use of new tools, methods and technologies

Linking existing entertainment options with educational purposes

Mid to long term:

Integration of new technologies and digital content into education methods and processes

Development of entertainment products that directly complement traditional curriculums on topics like digital literacy, privacy, health and mental health, sustainability.

What part(s) of the pre-COVID school system do you wish to leave in the past? Why?

The current systems of education and entertainment are not well linked, and there is a lot of opportunity for great developments in making that connection!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.

I am an innovator working at the intersection of technology innovation and social/ environmental impact. This topic has been on my mind for a while, but I never got around to do something about it. It would be great to find collaborators and likeminded people to jointly build solutions.

What region are you located in?

  • Europe

Where are you located?

Currently in Berlin, where the world is slowly reopening and life is coming back to the streets.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Peter Worth

Thank you Maike Gericke for your idea submission. I really appreciate the way that empathy for students, parents, and teachers informs your idea. Your lens of engaging students in work on real-life causes and issues that are relevant to them, and using the technology to support that problem-solving is also very important. I'm interested in the platform outputs, too. What some initial prototypes of these look like? Are there any outstanding questions or assumptions you want to test as you move forward?

Finally, I thought you might be interested in this idea, Gameful Classrooms  as it also relates to using a game design-based platform to support innovative lesson design. Thanks!

Photo of Maike Gericke

Thank you for the kind comment Peter Worth ! I feel like there would be so many assumptions and questions still to test as the idea is still pretty raw. One good way to start would be to start really small: maybe with a local innovation workshop involving few students, game developers, digital innovators and teachers that aims to solve a specific problem that both students and teachers identify. The outcome of this could be a simple game, a new way of framing educational content, or an entirely new approach - I'd be really interested to see what kind of ideas and insights emerge from such a session. If anyone is interested to participate, please sign up here :D