In a last few years usability or user experience became skelton keys used in almost every offer, specification... As we look through many applications they are much friendlier than they used to be. But do they really meet end-user expactations? Are they easy/pleasant to use? Have you ever looked at your grandmother using bank application or trying to find the most suitable train connection? Does not she seem a little bit lost (nervously clicking on the buttons)? Probably the designers/the team were geeky power users who look at the world from a totally different perspective.
One of the agile tools invented to help is persona. Persona is a powerful tool but it is only an imaginary 2D person... What if the team could for a couple of hours look at the world through end-users eyes? What if they could see and feel all the application inconveniences and improve them? How to make this situation come true? Use altergame :)
Altergame is a sort of a role playing game in which players try to impersonate characters that contrast with their native personality. Being a totally different person, the player is forced to face bizarre quests. That stimulates his creativity and allows for trying out unusual solutions in safe environment.
The most important part of the game is the discussion after playing. Players have opportunity to share their insights, approaches to encountered problems. The team is able to develop the most effective ideas/prototypes.