Playing a design game can help create an informal and relaxed atmosphere conducive to creativity. Photo credit: Ruffphoto

Playing for adults – five examples of game-based learning tools

Toolkit. What do games have to do with teaching first aid skills or identifying disinformation? We introduce five innovative ways of using gamification in adult learning.


There are many benefits to using games in education: they can help motivate and activate learners, teach problem-solving, communication and team skills, languages and critical thinking. And most importantly, they are fun.

We take a closer look at five different games that have been developed for teaching.


With Lifesaver, people can learn and practise first aid skills in situations when someone is choking or has stopped breathing and needs resuscitation. Different gripping scenarios are played out in short video clips and the player’s job is to make life-saving decisions while the clock is ticking. In addition to the interactive scenarios, the tool includes real-life stories and further information about resuscitation.

“We know Lifesaver makes a great training tool for those teaching first aid, and for those learning what to do, as it puts users into the heart of the action as they make the crucial decisions and learn the essential skills needed to save a life,” says Dr James Cant, Chief Executive Officer of Resuscitation Council UK.

The tool was created by production company UNIT9 and Director Martin Percy for Resuscitation Council UK.

RuffProto Design Board Game

Design games are a good example of a more traditional type of game that can be used in education. Many design games are board games, with game pieces and cards, although usually with no winners and losers.

The idea of a design game is to find solutions to a problem in a small group, such as designing new services for a target group or generating business ideas. Playing the game helps create an informal and relaxed atmosphere conducive to creativity.

RuffProto was developed by a Finnish company Preeriapingviini and tested in various educational contexts at the Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences. According to Janne Lahti, the CEO of Preeriapingviini, students have found it particularly helpful in team-building and the generation of ideas.

Yellow screen with words

The theory of Bad News game is that you can resist disinformation better when you are first exposed to a weakened version of it, like being vaccinated against an illness. Photo credit: Bad News

Bad News

The idea of Bad News is to learn media literacy by becoming a creator of disinformation – information, the purpose of which is to mislead us. Taking the role of a “baddie” is an effective way to see how techniques such as fake experts, conspiracy theories and polarisation are used to influence us.

The theory is that you can resist disinformation better when you are first exposed to a weakened version of it, like being vaccinated against an illness.

“Disinformation can be a very delicate topic. Playing a fun game makes talking about disinformation lighter and easier, leading to a more productive discussion,” explains game specialist Rivka Otten from Bad News Game.

The game was created by DROG, a multi-national team of experts, together with the University of Cambridge. It comes with several language versions, theory explanation and suggestions for further reading.


Players of Food Choices for a healthy planet learn what impact their choices have on health but also on the environment. Photo Credit: Food Choices for a Healthy Planet

Food Choices for a Healthy Planet

The idea of the game is to demonstrate how to make healthy and sustainable food choices. By choosing meal items from different food cultures such as Brazil and Canada, players learn what impact their choices have on their health and the environment.

“Food really sits at the heart of so many of our challenges related to the economy and livelihoods, health and wellbeing, as well as negative environmental and climate impacts. But the game also shows how food can be a very powerful and positive tool to solve many of these issues,” says Marie Persson, a food systems sustainability professional involved in developing the game during her time as project manager of Nordic Food Policy Lab.

Experts across the world have contributed to the game and the accompanying library of information about the issues.

AI / VI – Understanding Artificial Intelligence

AI/VI is a game and a resource library to help us understand how artificial intelligence (AI) affects our environments, and it serves as a springboard for discussion about the role of AI in our societies.

Engaging in conversation with a chatbot and performing tasks in Belgrade, the player is led to different scenarios or episodes depending on the choices made.

This pilot game has been developed by a team of artists within art+science lab of the Center for the Promotion of Science in Serbia.