This tool, contributed by DAFNI KEK, represents a gaming environment on Life and Career Skills for adolescents aged 12-18 years. It is an innovative and widely applicable interactive online ‘game’ for life skills and career development. It was first released in Canada (created by Bill Barry of St. John’s, Newfoundland) and is used today in ten countries worldwide.
Individuals are invited to make an adult character with a particular business, and not only a profile in the game. In this way, they are confronted with situations, challenges and opportunities faced by all adults. Through playing the game, the learner is led to improve and understand:
- their personal skills, abilities and positive self-esteem configurations and connections between educational/extracurricular experiences and career choice;
- the importance of acquiring educational and other qualifications to find work;
- the decision-making processes, problem-solving, working within a team, etc.;
- the search procedures, critical reading and utilization of information on educational and professional opportunities;
- the effect of career choices on personal life;
- the need to balance work and personal life and the multiple roles and responsibilities of being an adult.
The applicability of the innovative tool for the development of Life Skills
The central element of this friendly and easy to use game, which does not require specialized knowledge, is role-playing. With graphics and pictures from modern social and business life, the game is designed to support the planning of educational and vocational courses and one’s transition into the adult world.
The tool provides several activities as self-diagnostic tools and forms a picture of an individuals’ abilities, skills, interests, professional values, etc. in order to facilitate the design of education and career. The process of learning in the program is meant to be guided by an educational/career guidance counsellor in a group environment (referred to in the program as the ‘Facilitator’). Parents may also play the role of the ‘Facilitator’, not only to ensure in the teenager’s access to the program but to help utilize the potential of the game to the fullest extent possible. The real game tools are provided online (http://berealgame.eoppep.gr/) by EOPPEP (National Organisation for the Certification of Qualifications & Vocational Guidance).