Wednesday 12th December marked the Creative Cultures Gamification Seminar 2018, held in the MyCapsule Lab of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS). The culmination of a series of trips by Disruptive Media Learning Lab (DMLL) staff to Malaysia, the event celebrated playful and gameful approaches to education both in the United Kingdom (UK) and Malaysia.

The event featured a series of guest speakers from the UK and Malaysia, as well as local teachers and University lecturers to discuss ideas, create games, and celebrate in a showcase of educational games designed by local teachers for their students.

Speakers included Dr. Tan Wehoe, Jonathan Yeo, and Prof. Jonathan Shaw as well as teachers from Lamai, visited the last time the team from DMLL visited Malaysia.

Jonathan Shaw’s keynote focused on the power of playful spaces within Universities to act as a mechanism for disruption, innovation, and imagination. Focusing on the power of playful experiences, Jonathan shared his thoughts on the importance of playfulness to encourage creativity and diversity of ideas within the student community. Jonathans keynote, “A University Imaginarium: Are You Game?” is available online here.

The team from the Lab also worked with our colleagues at UNIMAS to run a session with local school teachers and academics on game design thinking. Through a series of design thinking activities based on SPRINT methodology, participants collaboratively designed a range of educational games to teach mathematics, spelling, geography, and more. Utilising learning from the GameChangers programme and the work undertaken with LEGO at Coventry, the session provided an opportunity to co-create educational games with school teachers from across Sarawak.

Whilst the Creative Cultures project is nearly complete, we will ensure we keep in touch with our Malaysian friends to further collaborate and share best practice. To that end, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) is being explored between both Universities in relation to shared knowledge and understanding of game-based and playful learning.

This MOU, as a result of the project, aims to explore possible joint supervision of postgraduate students, potential collaboration in the areas of training and technology, and explores methods of increasing staff mobility between UNIMAS and Coventry University.

The Creative Cultures project is funded by the Newton Ungku Omar Fund and partners Coventry University, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, the Malaysian Ministry of Education, and IEEE Sarawak Subsection.