How Fantasy Football Can Inspire Learning Games:

Putting a Game Layer on the World

Fantasy Football gives players a stake in a real-life situation

The game is based on what’s happening in real life. At the start of the season, FPL players buy fifteen real-life players who play in the English Premier League. And then each week you choose which eleven will play, and pick a captain who gets double points.

A game layer on the world means you can base game results on real-life

Things are happening in a kind of game layer, based on things that happen in the real world that that game layer sits on top of. These are real-life events: these football matches will be happening anyway. What FPL does is give players a stake in what happens, and ask them to make predictions and choices, and to win or lose based on those choices.

The game layer can sit on top of a range of events

As well as real-life, unfolding events like a football season, you could use a recording. For example, a programme like Dragons’ Den. If players haven’t watched it, you could pause it at various points and ask: who’s innovation will win, or who’s doing the best job of influencing?

You could use a game layer to teach almost anything

There are few limits to what you could use this for. For talent management, by looking at how people progress in their careers. Innovation, by looking at the success of ideas. Projects or Change, by looking at how successful projects or changes are going to be, or whether they’re going to hit various metrics

What could you put a game layer on top of?

I’d love to hear your ideas about how to use game layers. Is this something you’ve done? Or can you think of something inspiring you could do with this train of thought? Let me know.



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Terry Pearce

A consultant and designer in game-based learning and gamification for learning. Go to for more.