PlayBase

The Magic of a Playful Experience

Neoteny means the retention of immature qualities into adulthood. And we are, by many studies, the most neotenous, the most youthful, the most flexible, the most plastic of all creatures. And therefore, the most playful. And this gives us an adaptability.

Stuart Brown Scholar and the founder of the National Institute of Play
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Our first edition, PlayBase: New Reality, projects visions of new working/living conditions, and discover favorable changes to organizations.

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‘Why playing?’ you may ask. Games allow participants to escape from the common situation and immerse themselves into an extraordinary environment (Calleja 136–139). Through speculative fantasy and shared imagination, players are extracting themselves and engaging in the novel social setting (Hawkes-Robinson; Walton). In PlayBase, they are free from the mundane and any usual constraints (Bowman). It is a safe space where trial and error can be carried out and played with—all but without the fear of failing (Thoring and Mueller). Innovation is thus elevated by the staged safety net and enhanced by the creative setting.

[Role playing] provides a safe environment. People do not need to be afraid of failing. The staged situation provides some kind of ‘safety net’ for the participants. There will be no annoyed or offended customers or the like.

Thoring and Mueller ‘The Role of Role-Play: Intangible Systems Representation for Business Innovations’

Another fundamental benefit of PlayBase is boosting team collaboration. Players act as diverse individual characters, but problem-solve as a team to create positive impacts. Hierarchies from the office are dissolved. Through achieving missions together, role playing assists understanding of complex, multi-layered events, foster empathy towards different viewpoints, and encourage closing bonding as a community (Bowman; Shapiro and Leopold).

Role playing is not an individual activity, but rather a form of shared imagination. (…) This concept of social immersion focuses upon the ability to play with identity through what Todd Nicholas Fuist (2011) calls the agentic imagination: framing one’s sense of self with regard to one’s social roles rather than psychological ones.

Sarah Bowman Role-Playing Game Studies: Transmedia Foundations, Routledge, 2018

In the scenarios from PlayBase, partcipants are required to make plans, prioritise tasks and goals, build up strategies, execute actions, collect and respond to incremental feedback, as well as replan scheme accordingly to any repercussions (Calleja 155–165; Walton). This simulate challenges they will meet in normal business and cross-disciplinary work that drives the fast-paced product development. Qualities are strengthened just as in real life – but with fun!

PlayBase: New Reality offers different scenarios grounded on the much debated issues arising from abrupt change that we are all facing. The scenarios contribute to the overarching narrative about social cohesion in face of pressure and the unexpected.

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Missions

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Players

PlayBase: New Reality is our first online version. The game invite participants to speculate the on-going changes as a result of physical distancing. PlayBase New Reality offers different scenarios grounded on the much debated issues arises the abrupt change that we are all facing. The topics of play are, for example; What is the new reality for the way we work? How can we learn when the space of experience is limited? How can we turn the table and use the time of pandemic to plant the seeds of altruism in our society? Etc. The online set up of this version allows remote participations. Despite the physical distancing, our virtual experience knows no borders nor time zone!