The Real Game Series
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History of The Real Game Series

"Why do I have to learn this?"

"I'll never use this after I leave school," grumbled Bill Barry's daughter. His 12-year-old's protest about the relevance of her schoolwork led Barry, a former teacher, to create The Real Game. Seven years later, nearly 3 million students in schools across Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and seven other countries are engaged for 20 to 30 classroom periods over several weeks each year with Barry's innovation.

"What if we could give young people a practice run at being an adult while they're still in school-something that feels like the real world they'll soon be part of?"

That's what Bill Barry, from Newfoundland, Canada, asked when his 12-year-old daughter, Mara, complained that some of the things she was learning in school just didn't seem really useful or relevant to her in terms of her personal career dreams.

"Every time I start to really enjoy something, the bell rings and the book or computer must be closed."

Bill set out to develop an engaging tool that would make learning about careers and work fun and interesting. The result was The Real Game designed for 12- to 14-year-olds, which was piloted in St. John's, Newfoundland, in 1994. It caused such interest that the program was presented to career specialists from across Canada later that year at a Canada Career Information Partnership (CCIP) meeting. From these humble beginnings, in the space of six years, The Real Game has evolved into a Series of six internationally-recognized career development programs serving youths and adults.

Bill Barry, the originator and writer of The Real Game Series, has worked as a principal, teacher, sociologist, actor, playwright, and adult literacy worker. Since 1993, he has dedicated himself to writing in the field of career development. Since the inception of The Real Game program, he continues to collaborate with thousands of career specialists, counsellors, teachers, and students worldwide to develop and enhance these programs.


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