The Power of Purposeful Play in the Built Environment: Navigating Career Advancement Through Game Science

Anne Okafor
3 min readNov 23, 2023


In an ever-evolving world, the pursuit of personal and professional development is particularly crucial for those navigating careers in the built environment. The complexities of this field require innovative approaches to growth and success. One avenue gaining recognition is the intersection of games science and career progression.

Jane McGonigal, a renowned game designer and author of “SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient,” encapsulates the essence of this connection: “Purposeful play builds self-confidence and real-world problem-solving skills.”

Building Self-Confidence in the Built Environment:

McGonigal’s insight resonates powerfully for professionals in the built environment. Purposeful play in games allows individuals to set goals, overcome challenges, and experience the satisfaction of achievement — qualities essential for success in architecture, construction, and related fields. Engaging in purposeful play cultivates a sense of self-confidence crucial for tackling complex projects, making decisions under pressure, and navigating the intricate nature of built environment careers.

Real-World Problem-Solving Skills in Construction and Design:

The quote underscores the acquisition of real-world problem-solving skills through purposeful play — a vital asset in the built environment. Games often present challenges that demand strategic thinking, creativity, and adaptability, traits equally important in architecture and construction. Professionals engaging in games science find themselves better equipped to address intricate project issues, devise innovative solutions to construction challenges, and adapt to the dynamic nature of their work environment.

Enhanced Cognitive Abilities for Architects and Engineers:

Beyond self-confidence and problem-solving, games science contributes to the enhancement of cognitive abilities, a boon for professionals in the built environment. The cognitive skills developed through purposeful play — critical thinking, information analysis, and quick decision-making — are essential in the architectural and engineering realm. Mental agility leads to improved focus, better decision-making, and increased productivity, positively influencing career advancement.

Resilience Through Failing Faster:

An often-overlooked aspect of games science is its role in building resilience. In the built environment, resilience is indispensable. Purposeful play teaches individuals to fail faster, learn from mistakes, and adapt strategies — a valuable lesson for architects and engineers facing project setbacks. Embracing failure as a part of the learning process fosters a resilient mindset, crucial for navigating the challenges inherent in the built environment.


As we reflect on McGonigal’s quote, it becomes evident that purposeful play, grounded in the science of games, is a powerful catalyst for career progression in the built environment. The self-confidence, real-world problem-solving skills, enhanced cognitive abilities, and resilience cultivated through games science empower professionals to thrive in architecture, construction, and related fields.

Embracing the transformative potential of purposeful play opens doors to a future where the skills honed in virtual environments seamlessly translate into real-world success in the dynamic world of the built environment.



Anne Okafor

Igniting the passion for a world beyond the classroom as a Construction & STEM careers Cheerleader. | Maths Anxiety Crusader | An Everyday Determinator!