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Passport To Success Traveler: Using Games To Close The Global Talent Gap

Across the globe, there is a talent gap impacting the ability for companies, governments, and organizations to find, hire, and retain workers in fields which are rapidly growing. The limiting factor remains the same – young people, and young women in particular have been underserved and underexposed to life skill training which prepares them for a career and success in life. GameTheory partnered with the International Youth Foundation, and the PepsiCo Foundation to make a difference here, and to provide relevant, high impact life skill training for young people across the globe. More importantly, we wanted to make a game that had the same high quality learning experience no matter where, when, or how you played. Together, we worked to build a game-based life skills curriculum called Passport to Success Traveler that uses social media inspired games to teach key competencies like professionalism, financial planning, and teamwork. The story in PTS Traveler follows players as they’re recruited for an exclusive program to travel the world, trying out a new job and industry in each country they visit, solving problems along the way. Players visit Mexico City to learn about conflict resolution at a robotics company, or Paris to learn confidence and assertiveness at a logistic firm. Throughout the game, they work with lovable characters in stunning locations worldwide while experiencing what it takes to succeed in each of these fields. Every career featured in the game aligns with a real world growth industry, and the tasks faced will give you a taste of what a job in that field could really be like. Although PTS Traveler is targeted to serve young women, the game is now available for free and designed to be a useful tool for any young person starting their career.

Learn about how we went about building instructor-led training courses into a digital, low-bandwidth program that now spans 200 interactive mini-games, 18 courses and 4 languages. We’ll break down each step of the process, our workflow for designing for youth, how we customized the games for each market, and the surprises along the way. This presentation will show what it takes to design and build directly for your audience, how to design with access in mind, best practices for localizing your game, and how to build games starting from your existing course material. You’ll also learn about how to conceptualize a game that complements existing courses, and how to tailor your concept to your audience from day one. This talk will focus mainly on early focus group and user testing to inform later design decisions for a user-first approach. PTS was developed through a custom design model in partnership with game designers, cultural consultants, and subject matter experts. Although the focus of this project was not primarily research, we are currently collecting usage data to understand more about the effectiveness of this approach. We hope to be able to reflect more now that the game has been released and to share our findings as they develop.

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