A Blog by Lunebase
Spotlight

Learning through gaming

Here’s a fact to impress your friends: The gaming industry is worth more than the music and film industries combined. Current computer games bring immersive, engaging and complex storylines along with powerful social experiences all in glorious high definition, a far cry from clunky 2D gameplay days of yore.

But how can we use these technologies, and more importantly the principles of gaming, to learn and develop? Well, human beings are hard-wired to learn through play. Think back to your childhood – from dress-up to Monopoly, some of the most powerful learning experiences come through games.

You might have heard the term ‘gamifying’ applied to all manner of industries and platforms; its central ideas, built on philosophies of play, are simple:

  • It’s all about the story. A good narrative stimulates the creative side for the player.
  • Continuous feedback. Let players know how they’re doing. Encouragement goes a long way.
  • Reward learners often. This keeps them enticed, and more likely to keep playing.
  • Aesthetics matter. The more immersed a player is, the more likely they’ll invest themselves.
  • “Gotta catch ’em all!” Let learners unlock badges, new levels or tools to help them on their journey.
  • Gradually add complexity to keep things interesting. A feedback loop keeps things fresh while also giving a sense of progression.

Psychologists have studied the many types of human learning in depth. They found that gamified learning has distinct benefits:

  1. Gamification lessens students’ fear of failure – failure is integral to learning, but in the classroom it can be a source of shame. Gamification is proven to encourage failure and reattempt learning, without embarrassment.
  2. Gamification makes learning visible – allowing players to stay orientated to their progress and goals.
  3. Gamification increases motivation – bringing focus on a sense of achievement, social interaction and deep immersion.
  4. Games are familiar – unless you’re Tom Hanks in Castaway, we’ve all probably played some sort of digital game.
  5. Gamification can make learning a personal experience – allows learners to take a sense of pride, ownership and identity over their development.

So when you’re next considering how to best tackle a complex task, develop a new set of skills, or even get into teacher mode, why not think about how you might gamify your approach?

PS: At Lunebase, we’re using the principles of gamified learning in our plug-and-play digital campaigns for teams. The learning experiences promote competition, remote social interaction and increase with engagement with a slice of fun on the side. Want to learn more? We’re but an email away!

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Spotlight

Finding happiness in hobbies

The past month at Lunebase HQ has brought with it a new hobby for one of our founders, Aaron. Keen to prove to his young sons that he’s still as young and hip as ever, Aaron’s been tearing up the streets on his new surfskate (actual footage of Aaron in action 👀).

What is a surfskate you might ask? Simply put, a surfskate is a skateboard for surfing the street. Surfskates use special trucks that enable riders to mimic the feel and flow of a surfboard.

Many of us would call leisure time one of the most important for our wellbeing. It gives us time to focus on something we enjoy, so that we can relax, refresh and recharge.

But what is it about taking up a hobby that makes it so exciting and beneficial?

The benefits of hobbies are well studied, and include:

  • Better physical health. People who scored higher on the enjoyable activities test had lower body mass index, smaller waists, lower blood pressure, lower stress  hormones and better overall physical function.
  • More sleep. While you may think that a hobby will take up too much of your leisure time or cut into your sleep, it’s proven to be the opposite, aiding in more positive and restful sleep.
  • Lower stress. Try crochet to cut the cortisol.
  • Happiness. People who often participate in activities they enjoy tend to have greater life satisfaction, and feel their lives have a greater sense of purpose and meaning.
  • More friends. Spending more time on hobbies and leisure pursuits was associated with having a larger and more diverse social network.

Creative outlets outside of work also make for improved performance in your day job. A study of 430 workers found that having a hobby gave workers a chance to recover from the demands of their jobs, increase their sense of control, and become better at creative problem-solving while working.

(Our tip: Don’t pick a hobby just because it will help you at work! Pick a hobby that makes you happy, any other improvements will be just a bonus.)

When was the last time you tried a new hobby? How about a surfskate?

Wellbeing Champions Newsletter

Monthly collection of news, wellbeing updates, lifestyle tips, and feel-good stories - delivered right to your inbox every third Thursday.

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Spotlight

Five top tips for living green

There’s no debate about human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases being the biggest driver behind climate change. Recently, climate change has again made the headlines in the wake of a newly-published UN report on global warming, which some environmental experts have dubbed “our final wake-up call”.

This fresh press has got us thinking… 🤔

The science is clear. Earth surface temperatures are rising, and extreme weather phenomenon are either increasingly likely or already happening. We’re concerned. Here at Lunebase, we’re proud to be fully powered by renewable energy. And while we understand that the actions of the few outweigh those of the many – Oxfam reports that the world’s richest 10% cause double the CO2 emissions of the poorest 50% – we also recognise that every individual has their part to play in helping the planet, and collective action is the only way forward.

But what does the science say are the best steps we can take to reduce our carbon footprint?

First, let’s look at the numbers. On average, the UK contributes 12.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide (equivalent) to the atmosphere, per person, per year.

And if we break that down in terms of the impact of daily activities, we can see how individual adjustments can, collectively, make a huge impact (thanks BBC):

Read on for our take-home top tips for reducing your carbon footprint:

  1. Avoid the car wherever possible, or trade it in for a shiny new Tesla.
  2. Try to adopt a plant-based diet, or where possible, reduce your consumption of meat and dairy.
  3. Long-haul flights should be the exception, not the norm. If travelling to the continent, try the Eurostar!
  4. How well insulated is your loft? Not only will this one benefit your carbon footprint, but we all enjoy shaving a few pounds off the heating bills.
  5. Speaking of which, how about replacing your gas boiler with an electric heat pump? They’re set to be a key part of the UK government’s plan to make UK homes greener over the next decade.

Wellbeing Champions Newsletter

Monthly collection of news, wellbeing updates, lifestyle tips, and feel-good stories - delivered right to your inbox every third Thursday.

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Spotlight

To mask, or not to mask? That is the question

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, countries around the have introduced laws forcing people to wear face masks and coverings in public places, and workplaces, in an effort to stop the spread of the virus.

From the 19th July, Boris Johnson has confirmed that these mandatory requirements are to be halted in Englandand we will move from a “universal government diktat to relying on people’s personal responsibility”.

But what does this mean for commuters and busy workplaces up and down the country? What will be the new status quo? How might we enjoy thew3 new freedoms, whilst still respecting the wishes and concerns of others around the risk of transmission of Covid-19?

After all, vocal groups have been very strongly debating the pros and cons of compulsory mask-wearing for months prior to the new guidance. Which, in itself, introduces a lot more room for personal opinion into the debate.

Read on for our top-tips on how to avoid a social faux pas.

When to consider wearing a mask at work:

  • In any crowded, indoor workplace, or any indoor workplace where you work in very close proximity to other people
  • If you work around immunocompromised people, or people who live with those who are immunocompromised.
  • If anyone in your workplace makes a request for those around them to wear masks, or signals that the lack of mask-wearing is making them uncomfortable.
  • If any of your work colleagues are not fully vaccinated.

Above all, it’s best to respect everyone’s opinions and outlooks on mask-wearing, even if they don’t align with our own.

Wellbeing Champions Newsletter

Monthly collection of news, wellbeing updates, lifestyle tips, and feel-good stories - delivered right to your inbox every third Thursday.

☕ Five-minute round-up. 🤐 No-spam ever. 👋 Unsubscribe at any time.
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Spotlight

The Power of Journaling

It’s the early 1990’s. Acid-wash denim and Bryan Adams are all the rage.

With fashion and music thriving, though, not all is well. A jump in oil prices and high interest rates trigger a recession across most Western economies.

Along with any recession comes job losses. And a group of 40 engineers who had been working for twenty years with their company found themselves unexpectedly laid-off.

As part of the redundancy, they were offered a support programme to help get them back to work. Amazingly, one of the randomly assigned interventions proved to more than double their chances of returning to full-time work within a few months.

What was the support, I hear you ask? A massive job-search workshop? Or some serious skills training? Wrong… it was, in fact, the simple process of the jobseekers keeping a daily journal of their thoughts and emotions.

Though it was painful at first to write about having the rug swept from underneath them, as time went on they were better able to process their journey. While the participants realised they had no control over being let go, journaling became a tool to help control their response.

And by controlling their response to the situation they found themselves in, they found they could control their actions to mould the future – including landing a new job.

With many of us having suffered our own career-based uncertainties and job losses since the beginning of 2020, journaling can be the powerful tool many need to navigate the uncertain waters. But it doesn’t stop there – the benefits of journaling can applied to any difficulty we face in day-to-day life.

The benefits don’t necessarily have to hinge on difficulties either. Journaling can be just as powerful a tool to help reflect on the positives that we might otherwise be overlooking.

Want to try it for yourself? We recommend The Five Minute Journal – though any old notebook will do!

Wellbeing Champions Newsletter

Monthly collection of news, wellbeing updates, lifestyle tips, and feel-good stories - delivered right to your inbox every third Thursday.

☕ Five-minute round-up. 🤐 No-spam ever. 👋 Unsubscribe at any time.
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Spotlight

Master your workstation

Whether working from home, hot-desking, or an office-desk devotee, you’ve probably encountered the three most common physical complaints related to spending endless hours at your desk.

You can avoid pains in the lower back, neck/shoulders, as well as headaches, by ensuring your desk setup is ‘ergonomically tailored’ (say that fast five times!) to you.

“How do I achieve that,” I hear you shout? “What are the top tips to take home?”

You needn’t have asked.

Read on for our top tips to master your workstation setup, brought to you by Jo Julien of Worklife Ergonomics.

  1. Adjust that chair – Your ideal setup should look like this: Feet flat on the floor, knees bent at 90 degrees 📐, hips bent at 90 degrees 📐, sat up straight so your elbows are slightly higher than your desk, six-pack tucked right up against the desk’s edge.

  2. Don’t just work on a laptop – A separate monitor is ideal, but if you are confined to a laptop, raise it on a stand or a pile of books so that the top of the screen is at eye level. Using a separate keyboard and mouse also prevents you hunching over and promotes good overall posture.

  3. Come closer my (keyboard) love – Bring your keyboard close to the edge of the desk. Your elbow should remain in line with your shoulder. Let your forearms do the work!

  4. Hustle when possible – Our backs like to move. Use triggers as reminders to stay active – how about stay standing everytime you’re on the phone, or encourage meetings are done walking. This can also go for Zoom meetings, if you have the right setup!

  5. Got comfort issues? – Tell your employer – they have a duty to help support you. Besides, it’s much easier to help earlier with any issues and nip them in the bud. Prevention is always better than cure.

Wellbeing Champions Newsletter

Monthly collection of news, wellbeing updates, lifestyle tips, and feel-good stories - delivered right to your inbox every third Thursday.

☕ Five-minute round-up. 🤐 No-spam ever. 👋 Unsubscribe at any time.
Privacy policy for the fellow GDPR nerds 🤓