21st CENTROID GAMES CONCEPT: Live, Play, Learn

Written by Olusanya Blessing Oluwafemi

Category: Boardgames and Gamification in Education

The 21st centroid games concept is a result of analysing with diverse frameworks in cycles of empathy, problem definition, ideation, prototyping and testing to ensure attainment of 3 core criteria of desirability, viability and feasibility in human centred design.

Children playing Jenga at the African Boardgame Convention. Photo credit: NIBCARD Games

Concept Goals Trifecta

This concept aims at improving learning process by targeting the development core of cognitive, social and emotional areas. Highlighting;

  • Cognitive development,
  • Life adaptation and social skills,
  • Emotional development.

Thereby connecting the world of game playing to real world realities.


The methodology is centered on a continuous and iterative fun learning and adaptation process leading to overall improvement.

  • Stage 1: participants take part in learning a selected game, facilitators explain broadly the underlying rules and game strategies with practical demonstrations of general thinking concepts surrounding gameplay.
  • Stage 2: participants are put in different groups to experience and engage in game playing.
  • Stage 3: Reflective thinking is done jointly to summarize the games and respective thoughts of the participants. Observation based analysis are made to improve the overall process.
  • Stage 4: long-term effect of prior stages come into play as participants can examine game patterns and initiate discussions as relates real life situations.
A facilitator playing an SDGs boardgame with children. Photo Credit: ATLAS/NIBCARD


  • Develop process for school/community: The dynamic of the concept is its inherent flexibility. While the basic features of this concept remain constant, for effective implementation it must be adaptable for use in existing context. Time, schedule and environment alongside many other different factors must be studied to ensure suitability
  • Install concept program: based on adequate analysis of current situational standing, the developed process is instated for the school/community
  • Train and support facilitators: important to the efficiency of program is guidance during implementation, facilitators that meet scale of environment are trained in regards to the program and provided with support for continuity.
  • Special projects: in line with the concepts aims and goals, periodic special projects are carried out to foster continuous development and improvement. Organized competitions, parent-children evenings, teachers time-out etc.

The overall classification of classes is listed below, however not limited by it

Children playing Interstate boardgame. Photo Credit: Aidee Technology
  • Pre-school: Intuitive learning, dexterity, figuring it out
  • Early Primary: Asking questions, figuring it out, pattern matching, shared objectives, language arts
  • Late Primary: testing deep waters, united forces, skills for logical thinking, problem solving, planning and sequencing
  • Junior Secondary: Problem solving, forward thinking, information analysis, benefits of collaboration, interpersonal relations, tactics and strategy
  • Senior Secondary: Critical and effective thinking, memory application, strategy planning


  • Students: Improve scholastic achievements while learning with pleasure. Develop cognitive, emotional and social skills with strengthened confidence and self-esteem making them better prepared for life in this 21st century.
  • Parents: Provide children with better opportunities, get more connected to their children’s activities and experiences with exciting opportunities to interact with their kids in a mutually enjoyable way.
  • Educators/teachers: utilize concept to improve overall student learning as well as socialization process, implement strategy and tools in various disciplines and enjoy benefits of highly rewarding process of personal and professional growth
  • School: Raises students’ interest and motivation leading to academic excellence. Acts as agent of excellence by providing teachers and parents with research proven tools to improve educational quality. Also strengthen image and positioning with this differentiating factor

NB: 21st centroid games concept is a result of detailed study and research on the subject matter of boardgames and gamification as well as learning processes and developed with design thinking.

Design thinking project by Olusanya Blessing Oluwafemi


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