Games that make play a creative process rather than a reflexive, constrained one, and whose object is having fun and learning, not ‘winning’.
We could facilitate and mentor them to discover how to learn for themselves, and then how to make all learning play, adventure —.
So if we want to create an environment that enables and encourages more imagination, before our industrial civilization dies, in part, for lack of it, where do we start?
I’d like to believe we could start in the classrooms, but my experience has led me to believe that the mainstream education systems, both public and private, are really just another flavour of large corporation, where well-meaning teachers follow standard processes set down by corporatist administrators and only occasionally sneak in workarounds that actually allow students to learn or do anything of value.
The young and menial workers are constrained by technology (telemarketing scripts, software ‘aids’ and embedded error detection and correction tools) to ensure their lack of useful skills and experience doesn’t cause any serious problems for the corporation, and to weed out any variation in processes.
These are all, of course, jobs awaiting improvements in technology that will enable them to be either automated or offshored.
That means encouraging them to play their own compositions, not ‘covers’ of others’.
That means helping them to design games that are not automated, which players can adapt and evolve easily without ‘rewriting’ them to be more fun, and more creative, which don’t require computers or complicated tools, and which don’t have prescribed ‘roles’ or invariable rules.
I’m dismayed at how many writers (of all ages) read next to nothing of others’ work, and how many musicians appreciate only one genre of music and find really well-composed work too complicated to appreciate.
Like anything else, the practice of imagination involves studying those who’ve become really good at it, and understanding why and how. Most of us who live or work with young people are too busy and too exhausted to devote time to the frivolous practice of helping them to imagine.