An essential aspect of traditional play is that it fosters creativity. Yoshiro Miyata, talking about a crisis of the creative cultures, says that, as a result of the technological revolution and modernization of our daily lives, we no longer have interest in producing most of the things we use daily [1]. As a consequence, we are loosing creativity in various important aspects such as education and play. He says:

Children learn many things while they play, especially when they create their own play using whatever they find in their environment. For example, when they play in the natural environments, they can turn everything they find into toys. It is only recently that children play games designed and created by a handful of adults. In play, it is not just toys that they are creating: they learn to create good relationships with friends and build teams.

Thus, in order to nurture kids’ creativity, we should provide them with elements and mechanisms that allow them to create their own play, rather than provide them with closed deterministic games.

Moreover, the creation process not only fosters creativity, but it is fun in itself. As stated in [2]:

Creating has always been an important form of entertainment. People paint for a hobby, play music, build model airplanes, or write poetry in their free time. Just for the fun of designing and creating their own entertainment; the final result may be less important than the process.

Thus, apart from allowing the kids to create their own games we should also encourage them to craft the elements they will employ in their play.

Positive values

Inventame promotes a number of positive qualities in kids:

  • Creativity and imagination. The kids’ creativity is challenged as they should create the scenarios for the games. Moreover, they can define the rules of their own games. Thus, Inventame fosters creativity for both ideation of the game itself and design of its scenarios.
  • Manual and artistic skills. The scenarios for the games are physically crafted with natural elements. The kids create the scenarios through activities such as painting on paper, creating origami figures, crafting with plasticine, etc. Thus, the kids’ artistic abilities are nurtured.
  • Photography skills. Once a scenario is created, the kids take a picture of their creation (to transfer it to the digital device). In order to obtain a better digital representation of their scenarios, the kids will develop interesting photography skills (illumination, composition, etc.).
  • Socialization. The manual crafting of scenarios is a task that can be very well done by a group of kids. They can collaborate in several aspects to create the setting. For instance, they can discuss the list of necessary elements and materials for the scenario they want to build, then they can decide the location of each element in the scenario, and they can divide (among themselves) the list of tasks that they found necessary for the creation process. Moreover, in order to get a consensus, the kids should discuss the rules of the game they will play in the created setting.
  • Responsibility and conflict resolution. In conventional video-games, the game itself controls the rules and unambiguously decides on each action. However, by using Inventame, the kids establish the rules of each game and (as in traditional physical games) the kids themselves should ensure the rules compliance. Thus, the kids should deal with and solve the conflicts that can appear.
  • Adaptation and flexibility. While the kids can define the game rules in advance, they should be flexible to evolve the rules when desirable. For instance, the kids could realise that the previously defined rules do not adjust well to the particular scenario they are currently playing with. Or they can realise that the rules do not cover an exceptional case when it appears. In those cases, the kids should be open-minded to evolve and adapt the rules to the current situation.


[1] Miyata, Y. 2013. Nurturing creative mindsets in the global community, Billund: The LEGO Foundation. Available from:

[2] Reidsma, D., Katayose, H., and Nijholt, A. 2013. Preface. In Proceedings of Advances in Computer Entertainment – 10th International Conference (Boekelo, The Netherlands, November 12-15, 2013). ACE 2013. Lecture Notes in Computer Science 8253, Springer. ISBN 978-3-319-03160-6.