Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Daily Archives: 22/04/2020

Professor Game podcast: Chan on GridlockED

PG.jpgProfessor Game is a weekly podcast by Rob Alvarez Bucholska (IE Business School) which interviews “successful practitioners of games, gamification and game thinking” to share “the best of their experiences to get ideas, insights and inspiration to make learning experiences meaningful.”

The latest interview (April 20) is with Dr. Teresa Chan (McMaster University), designer of the hospital emergency room management game GridlockED.

A regular day for Teresa normally involves a lot of academic work and therefore she would only be working 6-7 shifts a month, however, that academic work has now ground to a halt and she is focused on providing clinical care given the pandemic. She is also part of the medical school with medical students to teach and they’re currently receiving a virtual curriculum.

One of Teresa’s favorite fails comes from when she was trying to implement the gamification approach into her continuous learning. She had the chance to create a competency-based medical education program that had a lot of elements of gamification. Although this pilot was good it wasn’t really much considered. Now there is a national platform that was somewhat informed by this experience so although Teresa’s pilot wasn’t used it laid the foundations for the national platform. If Teresa were to approach this again, she would focus more on gaming and gamification ensuring the game is seamless, usable and intuitive. She has found all the things she learned in game design has made her a better assessment designer and something she is applying to her workplace-based assessment systems.

Teresa’s favorite success comes from her game Gridlocked. The original idea came when talking to a colleague about what she was going to do after her thesis, she spoke about how disaster simulations are often done as tabletop games, similar to a war game, and it is used to consider how they would make moves within a simulation environment. This inspired her as there is often a lot of disasters in the emergency department but was no way to get the knowledge about it without being in the emergency room itself. We went on to understand what a multi-patient environment means and how to help upcoming doctors able to handle the kind of difficulties related to those environments. The main lesson she learned was when developing a game, you need other people to develop with if you have a complex game you need a good team to back you up. Another key learning for her was that the first draft is never the best one.

She would recommend identifying what assets you have on your team as this can be greatly advantageous to your project. For example, although Teresa was competent at creating graphics, she knew that Simon on her team had a lot of experience creating infographics and he ended up being the person to design most of the actual game who was crucial.

You’ll find our PAXsims review of GridlockED here.

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