2020 Wrap-Up: A Gameful Year of Connection, Creativity, and Play
Despite the challenges and changes this year threw at us, we, like many, still found ways to stay connected and lean into joy. Here’s a look back at our gameful year.
2020 was not an easy one by anyone's standards. Educators scrambled to learn how to deliver distance learning and to change all of their lesson plans to an online format. Students struggled with the loss of much of their in-person social life and with the transition to learning from home. Parents managed working while trying to help their children with online learning. And nationally, as we grieved our pandemic-related losses, we also collectively faced systemic racism, with many finding ways to begin to make changes from where they stood.
While not easy, there was still the opportunity for social and emotional learning and joy in 2020. Whether we found new ways to connect with family and friends through play online or whether we had a lot of obstacles to overcome, we made it—because we are still here.
Like everyone else, at iThrive we had our ups and downs and lots to adjust to in 2020. We were happy to officially release iThrive Curriculum: Museum of Me, to collaborate with educators on the creation and release of iThrive Curriculum: Sam's Journey, to playtest our new role-playing simulation, iThrive Sim, with over 400 students, and to collaborate with our colleagues at the Situation Room Experience to create the civics-based Lives in Balance and Leading Through Crisis scenarios for our simulation game.
We appreciate you for the many ways you engaged with us, whether it was downloading one of our game-based learning units, attending one of our webinars, playtesting our role-playing simulation, or reading our articles. Below are the blog posts you read the most this year.
Top Five Blog Posts of 2020:
- Social Distancing and Staying Connected Through Games: Read about how playing games together at home can relieve stress, bring joy, and foster connection.
- Urban Assembly Students Create COVID-19 Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Story: Read about our first virtual Game Design Studio, held with students from Urban Assembly. We co-designed an interactive story game reflective of the students' experiences navigating the social upheaval of the pandemic.
- COVID Self-Care Package: Practicing #SELatHome: Try out our 14-day challenge to practice social and emotional learning (SEL) and self-reflection at home. Social and emotional skills are even more useful in times of confusion, crisis, and abrupt change.
- Games to Play While Social Distancing: MMORPGs: Read about how massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) can be a safe space to wander, explore, and connect with others.
- Staying Connected While Social Distancing: Games for Emotional Coping: Take a look at our gameful recommendations to help you practice self-care, savor life's best moments and experiences, and turn inward to explore, accept, and express what's challenging about this moment.
We hope that each of you has a wonderful holiday season. We'd love to stay connected with you. Click here to receive our monthly newsletter with resources and updates. Here's to more creativity, connection, and play in 2021.