A new breed of gamers

130000-Intersective-Group-2What do you get when you combine 25 dedicated university students and a host of professional mentors from across the Co-op business?

A 12-week intensive innovation course called the Co-op Innovation Program (powered by Intersective), that’s what!

The Co-op is constantly looking for new, unique and exciting ways to connect with students and help them realise their potential, and this latest initiative aims to do just that. Bringing together 25 Macquarie University students to embark on a business-changing journey, the students and their mentors bring a mash-up of ideas, problems, potential solutions, technologies and prototype exercises to the table, to help further enhance and improve the Co-op’s innovation through gamification.

In addition to developing valuable skill sets to solve tomorrow’s business challenges and gaining work-place skills, students benefit from paramount experience in ‘serious games’ (no seriously, that’s actually a thing!). Serious gaming is all about:

Taking things that aren’t games and trying to make them feel more like games.

– Jesse Schell

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In other words, it’s about applying the elements of fun and games to normal, non-game activities to make them more compelling through the use of points

So how does this all tie into our peeps in the Co-op Innovation Program? Well, our students, with the guidance and assistance of their mentors combine into groups of 3 or 4 to come up with the concepts to help innovate the Co-op, and provide solutions by way of serious games. It’s fun, hands-on, extremely informative, and  students receive a credit toward their degree upon successful completion of the program.systems, levels, badges and achievements. Still confused? Remember Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego of 90’s education fame? That’s a prime example of a serious game; designed with educational purposes in mind yet with a fun and addictive twist (hello, lunchtime computer room marathons!).

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When asked why he chose to enrol in the program, Macquarie University student Hugh Raine commented “It looked like an interesting, unique course which would connect with industry professionals and also teach me about serious games which looks like a pretty innovative, new way to handle business problems.”

“(I’m finding it) challenging, but adapting quickly.” Raine added. “There’s a lot of help from the staff and mentors – it’s actually a lot of fun! It’s complicated, and we’re also finding a lot of hurdles to overcome.”

As the 12-week program comes to an end today, a presentation event will be held – complete with judging panel – to determine the winning team with the most innovative and proactive serious gaming idea for the Co-op. The concept will be put to use within the business and the winning team will get to see all their hard work come to fruition.

If you would like to share any ideas or be part of an innovation group such as this in the future, please send your enquiry to zghani@coop.com.au

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