This week’s Facilitator Tips episode explores the question – are elimination games are OK to play?
You know what I’m talking about – those fun, but often highly-competitive group games in which players are quickly and frequently removed from active participation.
In the context of contributing towards the positive and healthy development of your group, is this a good or a bad thing?
In what promises to be one of our most-read posts this year, watch our latest video tutorial to discover the good, the bad and the ugly of elimination games in group-based programs. Do you use them? And if so, for what purpose?
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Hello there and welcome to Episode 29 of the Facilitator Tips video series.
My name is Mark Collard. I’m an experiential trainer and an author and keynote speaker, and today I want to focus on this question that many of us in the field often ask, are elimination games okay or is competition okay.
There’s this tendency, this school of thought that suggests that we should eliminate all elimination games and competition from our program to create this wonderful, positive, healthy environment. However, there is an issue with that. While I understand the concern, yes no one likes to be eliminated and to be left alone or no one understands the pain of what it means to lose or be the first one that’s eliminated, that’s something that we all can appreciate, but it’s not about the elimination game or the competition that is bad. There’s actually something more.
In fact, I talk about it in my book “Count Me In”, and I quote, “As George Leonard says from the book “Winning Isn’t Everything, It’s Nothing”, there is nothing wrong with competition in the proper proportion, like a little salt would add zest to the game and to life itself, but when the seasoning is mistaken for the substance, only sickness can follow.”
So if you’re going to be using elimination games and competition for the purpose of sort of just adding a little bit of zest, a bit like salt with your cooking, then it just makes sense. But the approach is key. If you do a lot of that up front at the beginning of your program then you’re going to have more problems in terms of helping people connect, help them feel less vulnerable and otherwise just in a positive state of mind.
So maybe at the beginning, I wouldn’t pepper too many elimination games and competitions at the beginning, or if you do change the focus. The approach is key here. Maybe the focus is on generating energy and having a lot of fun and laughter and less on who wins and who loses.
And as I said, the connection before content. If you’re familiar with any of the work that we do within Playmeo, you’d be aware that this is a constant mantra. The more work you do to invest and build the connections within your group, the more likely issues of elimination or loss are going to be a problem for your group. That is you will have built a strong network of support for this to be able to be scaffold.
So that’s our episode. If you want some further reading to “Count Me In”, any other resources that we’ve produced here at Playmeo, go to our show notes at playmeo.com Episode29. Please leave a comment. What do you think? Do you think elimination games are okay or not? Please leave your thoughts at our blog.
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Okay, that’s it for now.
I look forward to seeing you in our next episode. Bye-bye.
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