Why we do it

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein

Children solve problems while playing. And without thinking twice. It’s in their nature to keep trying until things work out. We want to tap into that energy, and help them to use that capability. They are the carriers of future ideas and solutions. PlayReal aims to support them by building these, through playing. And create a new way of thinking in doing so.
At PlayReal we are convinced that the severe environmental and societal challenges our world faces today can only be solved by deploying new skills and multidimensional minds that are free of old paradigms. New solutions for the dilemmas that we know and the ones that lie ahead. Problems with water, food and garbage, for example. And the given fact that we are with ever more people that keep needing more wealth. These are serious and massive issues. But they all play out on a local level. And can therefore be solved locally as well. With new solutions.

The primary focus of PlayReal is on creating these sustainable solutions for the major 21st century issues. The games are not only about educating children on these subjects, but actually involving them in creating solutions. PlayReal strongly believes that the problem solving abilities of children and teens are not used to their full potential, and is committed to exploit these abilities for a better cause. Together with a children’s philosopher, a method is developed to use the full potential of children and translate their ideas to viable solutions.

Playreal is not working solo. We closely cooperate with schools, companies, not-for-profit and government organisations in developing our platform for innovative participative learning. This is a two-way street. The platform gives professional organisations qualitative access to youth in their school environment. And allows them to communicate relevant information for the assignments and provoke them into giving feedback on the presented issues and problems. Of course the information can not be commercially biased and has to have added value to the goals of the project.

Different Style of Learning

Children of today have many digital skills. The Internet has empowered them in many ways, and they use them all with abundance. They know where to find what they need, then use and share it. Moreover, they perform many of these tasks at the same time. Multi tasking is their middle name, and this offers them, together with cloud computing and crowd sourcing,  a complete new way of performing tasks.

We want to tap into the minds of these digital natives, who have a completely different style of learning.

Skills in Games

Games are as old as mankind. We learn through them while enjoying ourselves. But for children games are deadly serious. Because playing for them is everything and all. It sums up their existence. And they prosper through it. Cooperation, reaching goals by combining skills, trial and error and thinking out of the box are easy for them. And modern video games give them just the right tools to do so to the fullest.

This generation, who has grown up playing video-games and interacting with digital devices is learning a different set of skills. In particular, Massive Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) nurture a variety of skills that can be applied to real-world problems.

Gaming techniques are proven educational tools, primarily used for professional hands-on training, like the military, emergency services, government officials for crises readiness training, etc. Role-playing is now also a common tool in management workshops, to train for example communication skills.

Oddly enough, gaming isn’t widely used in our school system yet, although children are used to playing games. This is going to change. The potential of using gaming as a teaching method is huge, especially to explain complex information. It can be used not only in economics, biology and geography classes, like the examples mentioned above, but even in history, physics and language courses.

Games are not just played individually on computers. It’s an effective mix of individual and group efforts, where the children participate in several sessions, both offline and online. At home, in the classroom and during field trips. They unite in short or long term cooperation to achieve goals, trade tools and knowledge on a barter basis or for credits and help each other out without self interest.

Creative Minds

We all have creative minds. But children have something extra. They can play while creating new things or situations. By not being afraid of failing, out of the lack of an overwhelmingly demanding goal, they can think out of the box. And keep trying new ways to eventually reach a goal. Usually only to leave it behind, and start something new. That fearless creativity lies at the heart of PlayReal.

At PlayReal we turn today’s social, economic and environmental issues into pregnant questions that children can answer through a playful and collaborative conversation. Because we try to answer these questions in the context of a game, both children and adults are less afraid to come up with new and creative solutions.

In a speech about creativity in education Sir Ken Robinson argues that children are not frightened to be wrong. And while that does not make people more creative, “if you are not prepared to be wrong, you will not come up with anything original”.

According to leading authority in creative thinking Edward de Bono (Children Solve Problems, 1972): “Children solve problems effortlessly. Their ideas may often be impractical, but they produce them with a fluency, a zest and an irrepressible imagination”.

Create online and build outside

PlayReal will provide this digital generation with a game platform where they can simulate a sustainable society, as well as assistance and space in the real world to implement these ideas offline.

In that process we want to hand the participants a set of skills of existing but fading knowledge, with which they can understand the way we have built our civilisations. With which we have been producing, storing, cooking and distributing natural products for ages. They will learn hands-on skills of dealing with nature. Expertise that is valuable to survive, and ultimately to build together our society around a sustainable route towards a fair and healthy Earth. We think these skills are very valuable for new generations to come.

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In a Nutshell

PlayReal is a massive multiplayer online and offline game (MMOOG). The first of its kind, and with just as unique a goal. To help create solutions for a sustainable planet.

How? By helping young gamers think in that direction while using their typical digital skills. And then translate that to the outside world. By doing so on a global scale we aim for the new generations to come up with new solutions. Both online and offline.
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Why we do it

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein

Children solve problems while playing. And without thinking twice. It’s in their nature to keep trying until things work out. We want to tap into that energy, and help them to use that capability. They are the carriers of future ideas and solutions. PlayReal aims to support them by building these, through playing. And create a new way of thinking in doing so.
Read on »

Next Phases

We recently completed the experimental Phase of the project. We are now working on the next two Phases.

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Who does it benefit

“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I might remember, involve me and I will understand.”
Chinese proverb

PlayReal offers great benefits for children, organisations and schools.

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PlayReal for Organisations

We begin by framing the organisation’s need, which could be to communicate a message, come up with ideas for new products, think of new strategies, etc. Then we develop a story and characters that reflect this need.

We create adventures that invite players to come up with solutions. From the organisation’s knowledge, values and resources, we create a game character (Intergalactic Counsellor).

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PlayReal for Schools

We begin by framing the educational outcome. Then we weave the educational content into a story. We create adventures that invite players to think creatively, work collaboratively and come up with solutions to real-world problems.

We seek for organisations that provide knowledge, values and resources in the given theme and create a character for them (Intergalactic Counsellor).

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Intergalactic Counsellors

PlayReal drives on participation from organisations providing knowledge on specific areas. That can be farming, engineering, architecture, biology or water management, for example. Together with the players they help create local solutions for the challenges being presented.

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