Andrew Simon            October 18, 2012Simon Associates Management                  Consultants
Why Every Voice Engaged? Why Budget Games? Meaningful Play….including games gives “permission” to  be fully creative. Se...
To Say it Another Way… Games involve a high level of emotion. Emotions help us to Focus Remember Decide Perform Lea...
Play = Fools the mind The human brain is a pattern-making machine. We seek and find patterns everywhere we look.  We’re ...
City of San Jose Limited dollars available due to current  recession. $28 Million shortfall Can’t be all things to all ...
Goals of Budget Games: San Jose Gather input from citizens on  city’s programs and  services. Educate both citizen and  ...
Who Participates Diversity critical to process City residents and  leaders……Neighborhood  Associations, Youth  Groups ……...
Team Effort Requires People-Power City Subject Matter Experts  on hand to answer technical  questions                    ...
Additional Stuff 12 to 20 items  including costs and  benefits. 5 to 8 players at  table with limited  “dollars”.       ...
Budget Game Play and Rules Small “items” Each participant at table has a little amount of play  money. Can join with ot...
Budget Game Play and Rules Large “items” Need to fund new initiatives two ways:   New taxes.   Current program reducti...
Before We Started Negotiations List of items ranked by each participant. Reason for ranking. Table feedback that refine...
Results of individual ranking & group feedback 11 Tables 10 tables funded increase in library hours. 8 tables funded ma...
What Happened?                  Citizens were willing to bear                   consequences of tax                   inc...
Why Budget Games Works? Experienced facilitators and observers  provide support and manage the  structure/process ..but n...
Next Steps Understanding that every initiative can not be  funded. Great Neighborhoods created. Goes from a macro to a ...
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Innovation Games Meaningful Play Presentation

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On October 18, 2012 we presented this workshop at the Michigan State University's International Academic Conference on Meaningful Play. The conference included 250 attendees from 10 countries. Andrew Simon, Steve Dodds and Carrie Heeter engaged the audience in active games to show how meaningful play can help neighborhoods and cities engage their communities. Budget Games was designed by Luke Hohmann, CEO of The Innovation Games Company.

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Innovation Games Meaningful Play Presentation

  1. 1. Andrew Simon October 18, 2012Simon Associates Management Consultants
  2. 2. Why Every Voice Engaged? Why Budget Games? Meaningful Play….including games gives “permission” to be fully creative. Serious Games utilizes multiple forms of intelligence (verbal, visual, strategic) resulting in greater volumes of information. Encourages collaborative behavior & shared goals. Collaborative play builds consensus. 2
  3. 3. To Say it Another Way… Games involve a high level of emotion. Emotions help us to Focus Remember Decide Perform Learn 3
  4. 4. Play = Fools the mind The human brain is a pattern-making machine. We seek and find patterns everywhere we look. We’re so good at it that once we find one, it can be difficult to see anything else. Creating randomness is a way of fooling the mind so that you can more easily search for new patterns in a familiar domain. 4 4
  5. 5. City of San Jose Limited dollars available due to current recession. $28 Million shortfall Can’t be all things to all people…..need to establish priorities. Budget Games conducted in 2011 and 2012. 5
  6. 6. Goals of Budget Games: San Jose Gather input from citizens on city’s programs and services. Educate both citizen and staff on issues, values, roadblocks and alternatives to city challenges. Provide actionable quantitative and qualitative citizen feedback to city’s leaders in a non-threatening environment. 6
  7. 7. Who Participates Diversity critical to process City residents and leaders……Neighborhood Associations, Youth Groups ……other Commissions. 7
  8. 8. Team Effort Requires People-Power City Subject Matter Experts on hand to answer technical questions  Game Facilitators to explain and manage the game.  Game Observers to capture the “why”. 8 8
  9. 9. Additional Stuff 12 to 20 items including costs and benefits. 5 to 8 players at table with limited “dollars”. 9
  10. 10. Budget Game Play and Rules Small “items” Each participant at table has a little amount of play money. Can join with other allies at the table to fund certain activities. Does NOT require unanimous agreement at table. 10
  11. 11. Budget Game Play and Rules Large “items” Need to fund new initiatives two ways:  New taxes.  Current program reduction or elimination.  Requires unanimous consent for program reduction or tax increases. 11
  12. 12. Before We Started Negotiations List of items ranked by each participant. Reason for ranking. Table feedback that refines an understanding. 12
  13. 13. Results of individual ranking & group feedback 11 Tables 10 tables funded increase in library hours. 8 tables funded major initiative thru tax increases. 8 tables funded increased police patrols. 13
  14. 14. What Happened?  Citizens were willing to bear consequences of tax increases.  Wide range of programs….public safety was not the only priority.  Much more agreement than expected.  Built community “teamwork”. 14
  15. 15. Why Budget Games Works? Experienced facilitators and observers provide support and manage the structure/process ..but not the outcome. In-person discussion creates dialogue leading to a collaborative environment. Quantitative and qualitative feedback. Measurable results. 15
  16. 16. Next Steps Understanding that every initiative can not be funded. Great Neighborhoods created. Goes from a macro to a micro basis. Further builds on collaboration to shape ideas for potential projects that are self-funded. 16

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