Collaboration can't be turned on with the flick of a switch

Gaming as a tool to learn, improve, and play with collaboration


With his expertise in collaboration and gaming, Rajiv V. Basaiawmoit is a fitting speaker for this year’s collaboration-themed 11th edition of the European Communication Summit. At the Summit, to be held in Brussels on June 29 and 30, he will speak on how games are an innovative tool for practising multi-stakeholder collaboration, which is essential to doing business today.

Rajiv spoke to Communication Director about why gaming is an effective instrument for building trust and promoting exchange, and the kind of games that can get us thinking collaboratively.

How can gaming boost collaboration?

In principle any activity, when framed in the right context, may lead to collaboration. However, collaboration, unlike cooperation, cannot be turned on with the flick of a switch. This is where gaming steps in. Gaming requires you to spend time with others engaged in an activity towards a common goal. This allows building trust, an essential ingredient of collaboration. Another important ingredient is that gaming creates a level-playing field within a safe environment where players exchange ideas, opinions, strategies, perspectives, etc. without fear of judgement. Often these exchanges continue post-game and lead to real-world boosts in collaboration.

 What kind of games are most effective?

Games need to have certain elements designed in them to boost collaboration. These elements include the ability to engage the players for extended amounts of time, encourage suspension of disbelief, allow dialogue to happen, set forth a common goal or challenge that the players should overcome together, encourage constructive tension and last but not the least, allow role-playing and role-switching to encourage perspective taking. The kinds of games that can stitch these together in an engrossing game design, whether digital or physical, are the ones that are likely to boost collaboration both in-game and off-game. They also should be inclusive (do not expel players in-game).

To find out more about the Summit programme and to secure your tickets head to the European Communication Summit website.