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April 29, 2016

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April 29, 2016
For Immediate Release

TORONTO – A lesson on unleashing the power of play is coming to Toronto’s business district. Professor Scott Nicholson of Wilfrid Laurier University’s Game Design and Development program will deliver a breakfast workshop at the Toronto Region Board of Trade building on May 5. A leading scholar in the field of escape rooms, Nicholson will encourage attendees to explore this new phenomenon and understand connections between escape rooms and corporate training needs.

At this interactive event, Nicholson will demonstrate a game based upon his own research into escape room experiences specifically designed to fulfill the needs of human resources trainers. Rather than simply using a recreational escape room experience and labeling it as “team-building” because a team has to work together to win, Nicholson’s approach starts with the desired learning outcomes and then develops the narrative and challenges to achieve those ends. This approach puts the player’s experience first, focusing on how the participant can be transformed by the experience. The training outcome is the goal of the game, and not a by-product.

During the event, attendees will experience a live-action game based upon escape room design principles. “Live-action games and simulations create opportunities for direct face-to-face engagement, which, when combined with time pressure, create intense experiences that can be reflected upon afterwards,” said Nicholson. “It is through the combination of an intense experience and a longer reflection that learning outcomes can be met.”

The concepts showcased at this workshop illustrate the core of what Nicholson teaches his students in the Game Design and Development program at Laurier’s Brantford campus. In this program, students learn not only how to design engaging recreational games, but also how to apply those design skills in the real world. A requirement of this Bachelor of Fine and Applied Arts degree is a capstone project wherein students partner with an organization to make a game to change the world.

“Professor Nicholson’s expertise has so many applications for human resources, training and employee development that bringing him to Toronto – the city that hosts many of Laurier’s flexible graduate programs in business and finance – seemed like a natural fit,” said Sheldon Pereira, director of University Relations for Wilfrid Laurier. “Scott’s enthusiasm and expertise make him a compelling speaker, and we know participants will gain insights to enhance their training practices by attending.”

Registration for this event is free, however seating is limited. Networking begins at 7:30 a.m., with the workshop running from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Reserve a space online.

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Sheldon Pereira, Director
University Relations
Wilfrid Laurier University

T: 519.884.0710 x2593


Beth Gurney, Associate Director
Communications & Public Affairs
Wilfrid Laurier University

T: 519.756.8228 x5753



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