Meet the team: Helen Routledge: Instructional Games Designer
July 29, 2011 3 Comments
Well I start off by saying it’s nice to meet you all! I’ve wanted to do this for a while as we typically explain who we are in this much detail in our RFP’s. I’m an Instructional Games Designer and I specialize in the design and development of engaging Serious Games. With 10 years hands on experience of applying behavioural and cognitive theories to highly-interactive serious games I have seen the market develop from a cottage industry with huge potential to an exciting and diverse market place!
Starting out with a B.Sc (Hons) in Behavioral Science (major in psychology) which I received from the University of Abertay Dundee (well known for it’s gaming legacy) I’ve worked on dozens of varied projects addressing, for example, social skills education for young people, team building, leadership, sales training, supply chain management, IT security and even infectious disease control where you had to fight Zombies!
Over the years I have been fortunate enough to work with some incredible individuals including Olympic athletes from The Scottish Institute of Sport Foundation, world leading educationalists from Learning Teaching Scotland, and well respected instructional designers from some the worlds most well known organisations.
At the beginning of my career, I started out as Research Manager for TPLD Ltd, a game based learning company based in Dundee, Scotland. My background in Behavioural Sciences helped the team conduct some early testing on one of the first products to enter the UK industry and guide the design and direction of future products.
For the past 3 years I have been as the Instructional Systems Design Manager at PIXELearning Ltd which has given me the opportunity to continue to lead in the design of serious games destined for corporate training and development working with companies such as Comcast, KPMG, Ernst and Young, HP and Raytheon to name just a few.
I’m not ashamed to let you all know that deep down inside I’m a little bit of a geek. In fact those of you who know me may argue with the term ‘little’ but I personally feel you need to be in this industry. One of my passions around serious games is to drive the use of game mechanics in training, so that our applications not only look like games, but they feel like games too! I’ll never get bored talking to clients about games and game design and it’s part of my job that I love, seeing people’s faces when the connections are made between what they know about educational theory and game mechanics, and it’s even better when we get to hear from end users too!
It’s not always been easy, but then again what in life that’s worth it ever is! Being a woman in a male dominated industry and starting out fairly young at 21 it has been an interesting few years to say the least. The serious games industry have given me a great start to my career and who wouldn’t want to come to work to design and play games. After 10 years in the industry and the growing acceptance of games as a training media I look forward with growing excitement to what the next 10 years will bring!