There is a very popular post on my Nextdoor right now of a lady offering her suggestion that kids in school engage in cooperative over competitive gameplay. When I saw the post my first thought was team building exercises and something like Camp Hemlock where my elementary school had a field trip at the end of our sixth grade year. Then I realized the game she is looking for is Dungeons and Dragons.
I haven’t made that post yet but I really really should, because Dungeons and Dragons is the exact game she describes in her post. It is a non-competitive game where the players can only win with cooperation. It also helps a great deal that it is an imagination based game and bring the elements of play into it for older kids and adults.
Now what I find a tad confusing is the majority of responses were from the dull knife portion of society screaming and yelling about how kids need to learn that life isn’t fair and what’s wrong with dodge ball or this or that nonsense you’ve heard a million times.
Reality is that life isn’t a competition where we are all trying to step on each others faces to get to the top. That is only propaganda to make us think that the people that did get to the top earned it somehow instead of inheriting daddy’s emerald fortune and using government subsidies to buy out a company and fire its founder.
We should be focusing more on cooperative and play based learning. We need to stop thinking that our creativity and imagination have an expiration date. Older children and adults need playtime too and Dungeons and Dragons is the perfect type of game for it.
It is also strange that we are in a military town and close to the joint forces war games headquarters and no one brought up war games as a cooperative strategy game. It would also be a great way to learn history. Recount real world scenarios to the students, divide them into groups, and ask each group for a solution to the problem.
This type of creative, play-based learning should be the norm and not some extraordinary outside the box idea on the Nextdoor app.