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Digifoot: make it go viral!

Digifoot: make it go viral!

Digifoot is an educational game for adults created by the IOM Awareness Raising Unit. It uses the rules and basic principles of football to help you navigate the field of digital communication. 

Digifoot is interactive and engaging. To play the game, you’ll need 15 minutes, a trained facilitator, and a maximum of 10 participants. 

See how it works in 7 key questions:

1. What will you learn? 

What the game does is simplifying digital activities using the basic principles of the world’s most popular sport, football (or soccer– depending on what country you are from). Digifoot uses the rules of football to explain digital strategies.  

2. Why football?

Football is a strategic and group sport. You’ll learn that the same is true for digital activities. You can’t score a goal without building a strategy. Just like you need a digital strategy to score online. 

Digital communication is often seen as complex and challenging. However, by taking a closer look, it has some of the same models found in other competitive fields.  

3. What is the learning approach?

Digifoot is based on the principles of gamification, a problem-solving process using the characteristics of game elements.   

By starting from something they already know, participants naturally adopt a comparative approach. They create mental links between the two different situations, making it easier to learn new concepts. 

The football metaphor helps participants to memorize the basic principles of digital communication, by creating mental links with the soccer.  

4. How are football and digital similar? 

Football is made up of elements that depend on each other – such as strategy, different roles for different players, rules, competition, fans and of course … goals!  

Digital communication is the same. 

These are the things football and digital have in common and how:

  • Goalkeeper: this is your digital strategy, protects you from setbacks 
  • Defense: this is your brand thinking, defend your team against the competition by keeping an eye on how you are perceived by others 
  • Midfield: here you will find 4 key players: your creative flow, content strategy, technology, and targeting 
  • Attackers: those who aim for your goal are publishing and monitoring 
  • Fans: your online users, they will cheer you up every time you win, and be disappointed when you don’t 
  • Referee: the algorithms governing the internet 
  • VAR (video assistant referees): verifications of your digital actions and checking them against set objectives 
  • Coach: the one who guides the team, your digital manager 
  • Ball: the idea that you want to go viral!  
5. How do you play it?

First, the facilitator explains the rules of the game. Next, the participants are divided into two teams to play a match. Each group should correctly place the 11 players and the main referee on the field based on their role and position. While doing that, they’re asked to explain their choices and how these players contribute to the strategy. 

6. Is it fun?

Digifoot is both educational and entertaining. Gamification adds engaging elements such as competition, scoring, teamwork, and creative problem solving to an otherwise strictly informative exercise.  

By referring to something as popular as football, even those that are not interested in digital will have their curiosity triggered. 

7. Can I use it in my next training?

We would love you to use it. Dive straight into our tools section to find a step-by-step explanation on how to facilitate a training session using Digifoot. You can download all print materials right here:

If you liked this blog post, make sure to talk about it with your colleagues and friends. You can easily share our content by clicking on the social media buttons. Make sure to let us know if you tried Digifoot and how it went!

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