MasterClass: Making a Change: How to Apply Game Design to Real World Problems | Pocket


In this MasterClass, you will discover the art of designing games to solve real world problems in a fun and engaging way.

The course will begin by reviewing game case studies with this ambition, followed by small group activities where you will have the opportunity to explore real world problems and apply game design to solve this. problem. In your groups you will:

  • dissect the problem as a team
  • make choices and frame the problem appropriately
  • find a common language and point of view on the subject
  • connect (or not)
  • find creative solutions

Finally, each team will present to the rest of the group and receive feedback and a collective rating, with the winning team taking the prize!

The main points to remember include:

  • Find out how a game can be a solution to a real world problem
  • Learn how to explore a real-world problem and create a fun solution
  • Find out how the game invites and sparks creativity and facilitates meaningful dialogue

TARGET AUDIENCE: Everyone has already played a game! So if you are curious about making an impact using games as a medium, this course is for you. Therefore, we recommend that you do not need any prior knowledge to get the most out of this workshop.

That being said, this MasterClass may be suitable for some specific career paths, including producers, product managers, developers, artists, and designers.

Meet the mentor

Throughout her career, Ellis Bartholomeus has been intrigued by the value of the game. She graduated from Design Academy in 1996 as a product designer and realized that in order for the audience to make a message their own, it must interact with it. Since then she has conceived of play as a method / tool to amplify self-motivated learning and enable rich social interaction.

Ellis has co-developed over 50 interactive games and fun products on a wide range of topics. For example, she created a tool to help patients with kidney failure adjust their lifestyle and cope with the disease, as well as a puzzle platform for the elderly to stay fit. cognitively by learning about technology and the Internet.

After years of product development, Ellis wrote Apply Play, a book about the art of gaming (translated into four languages). She lectures and leads workshops on the value and power of play and how to bring about change while designing and fostering intrinsic motivation. His work has had an impact on groups around the world.

Content distribution

Part 1: The Problem

In this first section of the MasterClass, we’ll look at a minimum of five examples of real-world issues, including wildlife conservation, education without schools, and gender equality. We will try to define the problem, identify a solution, discuss how it could be created and assess the impact it will have.

Then we will work in small teams to explore and solve a real world problem while playing a game. In teams of three to five participants, on Miro, they will play the role of “repairman” and together play a process where they will dissect and discuss the problem and define a useful solution. Each team scores points based on its performance.

Part 2: The Solution

In this section, we will see how to create a format that allows us to co-create a solid solution to the problem, presented as a game.

All the teams will present and rate all the results, each team will then vote on who they think has the best, funniest, and most grounded concept – and show how this approach can really help effectively address the identified problem of the team. real world.

Finally, we will explore how to take into account not only the results, but also the evaluation of the process itself. Throughout the process, what have we noticed, seen, felt and thought about how this approach can be applied to other projects? This will end with an overview of possible next steps.

Teaching format

Part 1:

  • Presentation conference (20 min)
  • Group activity (40 min)
  • Presentation results (10 min)
  • Review (10 minutes)

15 minute break

Part 2:

  • Instruction (10 min)
  • Group activity (40 min)
  • Presentation results (10 min)
  • Comments and reviews (20 minutes)

Looking for more MasterClasses in game design?

This MasterClass is part of a larger series of in-depth workshop sessions, covering practical game design topics, presented by in collaboration with some of the foremost minds in the games industry.

If you would like to attend another MasterClass, you can find more information at

Monday, September 13 (10 a.m. – 1 p.m.)

Lessons with a Growth Hacker: Successfully Evolving a Living Game, with Oliver Kern

Monday September 13 (2 p.m. – 5 p.m.)

Save your game from disaster: test the secrets of a former Ubisoft expert, with Pascal Luban

Wednesday September 15 (10 a.m. – 1 p.m.)

The Right Balance: Connect Gameplay and Monetization Effectively, with Glyn Fairweather

Wednesday September 15 (2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.)

Get Your Shit Together with Player Behavior, with Kelly Vero

Thursday September 16 (2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.)

Game Design: How to compare, create and measure fun, with Javier Barnes

Friday September 17 (10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.)

Building an audience: marketing, UA and creative production, with Mobile Game Doctor

Remember, we have some great multi-booking discount offers …

  • 3 for 2: book three MasterClasses for the price of two!
  • Corporate discount: tailored offers available for large groups and / or multiple MasterClass sessions (please email to discuss discounts)

To arrange any of the above bespoke packages, please email [email protected] for more information.

Please note that the final ticket price is in pounds sterling and conference tickets may be subject to UK VAT at the rate of 20%. You will receive a VAT receipt by email with the confirmation of your reservation.

For all other questions, please contact [email protected]

Thermal baths and conditions of application

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