Imagination Gaming founder Nigel Scarfe discovered the power of games while playing Dungeons and Dragons as a child.
At the time, he was struggling to keep up in school and he found that the game expanded the way he used his mind and subsequently gave him a better understanding of maths and English in school.
Fast forward a fair few years and that valuable lesson is helping Nigel’s company (IG) pave the way for innovative games based learning by taking it back to more traditional board and card games with great results.
So much so that the gaming industry is starting to take notice of this small but mighty team.
Barnsley-based IG have now collaborated with big names in the games world (such as Haba, Green Board Games Co, and Asmodee) to create a full day of games and challenges in school to support children’s budding brains. It is because of these partnerships with leading worldwide games companies that IG are able to offer schools full Games Days – absolutely free.
Speaking about these collaborations, Nigel said: “We love it. Companies come to us with the games and we design the lesson plan around them. It also enables them to design better games, as they see firsthand how the games work in a school situation.”
IG are leaders in games based learning, and were the first company of their kind. Their free Games Day Programmes aim to teach the children a variety of skills in a way that is engaging and exciting to them. Nigel says of his presence in schools, “the curriculum focuses mainly on testing, which doesn’t always reinforce the practical use of what’s being taught in lessons. Games Days allow this reinforcing and engaging, which leads to greater memory of what’s being taught. There is a real need for this. There is a hunger to learn.”
And this hunger shows – the impact on schools to date is noticeable. One Deputy Head says: “There was lots of laughter and fun while the children work together - they don’t even realise they are learning. I am very pleased to say that there was no ‘hard sell’, just lots of fun. Highly recommend Imagination Gaming and would encourage schools to definitely give games days a go.”
What started out as one man in a few local schools has now transformed into a nationwide operation, and has even branched out overseas to Cyprus. There seems to be no stopping this growing games pioneer.