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You're never too old to play games - Why gamification is the ideal catalyst for creativity

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After working in the corporate world for a few years, Virgile Loisance saw how difficult it was to engage employees around different themes. So, he started Emeraude Escape to bring a little joy into the corporate world and gamify company communications, awareness and training processes. 

In 2020, the need to go digital due to COVID-19 has seen Emeraude Escape reinvent in a very short time and pivot its business to an all-digital model by developing online games for companies that might otherwise have never considered it.

Today,  he explains how gaming isn’t just a frivolous pastime but can be used to ignite a spark in creatives of all types and from all backgrounds.

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When we were younger, Monopoly taught us how to manage our finances and build a long-term vision. Murder mystery allowed us to ask the right questions, while Where’s Wally encouraged us to be patient and good observers. All throughout our childhood, games have played an integral part in our skills development: coping skills, intellectual capacities, negotiation and more technical skills, but also accepting defeat and compromise. 

While these games were excellent entertainment in the old days, they were also great ways of evolving and training the mind to be more creative, more open and solution-oriented. However, as we get older, we somehow push aside gamification as part of creative thinking.

According to Psychology Today, creativity encompasses the ability to discover new and original ideas, connections, and solutions to problems. It’s a part of our drive as humans—fostering resilience, sparking joy, and providing opportunities for self-actualisation. 

While some people tend to be more creative than others by nature, creativity is developed through nurturing, doubting and developing new ways of dealing and adapting to situations. A big part of our creativity is due to our younger selves playing board games and video games that offered us a different reality for a brief amount of time. 

How businesses can incorporate creativity and in turn, learning into its every day

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In the corporate world, being a strategic thinker means you are always interpreting your environment creatively. Employees who challenge the status quo and foster change in an organisation tend to have higher creativity than their peers. 

According to the World Economic Forum, creativity was (or was related to) nine of the top ten skills that global executives say are essential for 2020 and beyond. And scientific research shows we can nurture creativity through gamification, as we have since our childhood days.

In addition to implementing gamification into corporate functions, creating an environment where goals and objectives are always clearly expressed and allowing an open line of communication and interaction between teams and employees, allows creativity to flourish. When brainstorming is encouraged and takes place in an engaging way, it leads to more successful outcomes. 

The space employees are surrounded by, whether virtual or in reality, makes a world of a difference. Stimulating gaming elements such as game play, championship, and puzzles that contribute to the work ambience can be keys to get ideas blossoming. 

It's no secret that we spend many hours at work, making it crucial to keep employees and teams engaged and avoid monotony. When engagement is lost, motivation disappears with it. 

Keeping internal communication fresh and creating a dynamic and rich workplace will make teams feel more at ease and motivated to put forth their best work and effort. When teams feel appreciated and more actively involved in all facets of the workplace, the desire to  contribute is also likely to increase. The simple truth is that learning and working is most successful when it is enjoyable.

Gamification and its role in the workplace

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Gamification is the perfect catalyst for creativity. It adds so many elements needed to create a strong and dynamic workplace through immersion and engagement with different modules. 

Companies consistently allocate a pretty penny towards educational programs to teach new skills to employees and retain top talents internally, so gamifying training can have many organisational benefits that go way beyond learning new skills. 

There is no one-size fits all for creative thinking and building creative processes. Utilising intricate details of each company, the goal must be to bring to life real work scenarios as well as much needed elements of fantasy and gamification to disconnect the pressure workplaces can bring through exciting design, opportunities of collaboration, and much more. 

Game environments allow employees to navigate and explore their creative potential free from social norms, boundaries, or stigmas that can be brought on in reality.  This freedom provides participants with an increased level of confidence, favourable for creative thinking. 

The most complex of scenarios, gamified, allows anyone to become an innovator and find solutions to unique, intense, and playful situations that could never be replicated in real life. This method produces real results and creative initiatives that can be applied in real work environments. Games allow employees to think differently than they normally would, tapping into the deepest parts of their imagination, which is where true creativity begins. 

Gamification is an exciting key in the workplace many have yet to make the most of. We love being the gateway into the world of corporate gamification and supplying all the great benefits it has to offer. In order to really achieve growth and push businesses forward, employers need to engage with, inspire, and nurture creativity at every level of an organisation. 

Encouraging interaction through gamification breaks down barriers and leads to outcomes that probably couldn't be imagined from simply reading a PDF.

Header image by Petros Afshar

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