GAMESTORMING – CATALYST CAFÉ :: is Gamestorming? Well, we’ll get to       But I would take it a bit fu...
GAMESTORMING – CATALYST CAFÉ :: separates Gamestorming frombrainstorming is the usage of an           ...
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Gamestorming - Catalyst Cafe Handout


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This is a paper handout intended to accompany a set of "meta-games" to help the audience understand leading gamestorming and using games to facilitate ideation and problem-solving.

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Gamestorming - Catalyst Cafe Handout

  1. 1. GAMESTORMING – CATALYST CAFÉ :: is Gamestorming? Well, we’ll get to But I would take it a bit further to say thatthat (since you have this handout – you can games & Gamestorming help in these ways:read ahead!). What you’re holding isintended to address these three questions: Priming – it stimulates teams/groups and encourages them creatively address an  Why Gamestorming? issue, problem, or situation.  What is Gamestorming?  How do we lead Gamestorming? Engagement – for willing participants, it vastly increases the level of engagementThe best intro is likely the talk from Dave experienced as it is easy to get “lost” in aGray, one of the authors of Gamestorming, game and it can quite enjoyable.gave to UX Week 2010. Heck – the websitefor the book is a great launching point. So, Self-Selection – people that are notyou could start learning more like this: willing to take part in games are not likely to help you in the creative process anyway. Understanding – observing game sessions & activities as a facilitator gives a unique window into groups, thus, it offers novel insights about dynamics. Let’s operate with Gamestorming defined as “brainstorming in game Reenergize – the passion and glee of format” until we can discuss & playful activity helps suspend the reality of experience it. work day allowing access to thought processes a cubicle-driven life shuts down.Now, you could leave now since you havethis, or you can stay. But you went through I consider the above the Gamestormingthe trouble to come to Catalyst Café – so Sweet Spot! Dave Gray says thatstick around & experience some games. everything is a game, if you choose toHopefully, by the end – you’ll have your approach it that way. So you can useown answer to this question: games & Gamestorming for pretty muchWhy Gamestorming? any activity or group setting. I think the above attributes are why you would put inLike I said, Dave Gray offers an answer [1]. the effort to lead Gamestorming.And through the power of summary, I’llprovide some of his thoughts: What is Gamestorming?“Games are accessible to beginners As we stated earlier, Gamestorming iswithout being boring to experts” “brainstorming in game format.” There is nothing really novel or new about“Games generate new possibilities, new Gamestorming. It is a collection ofinsights.” activities that creative & innovate orgs, like IDEO [2] have been doing for quite some“Games provide mechanisms for time. In fact, David Sibbet’s activities as ainteraction & creative collaboration…” Graphic Facilitator [3] are a major factor in why Gray, Sunni Brown, & James“The constraints of a game encourage, Macanufo decide to write their book.      rather than restrict, creativity”
  2. 2. GAMESTORMING – CATALYST CAFÉ :: separates Gamestorming frombrainstorming is the usage of an  Optionally, use a game (likeinteraction format close to that of the 3 Act Plus/Minus) to get feedbackPlay, yet “game-like.” Games will fit into: 1. An opening period that introduces One rule to gamestorm by is “anything you the world & gets divergent thoughts ‘open’ you must ‘close.’” If your gamers flowing. [OPEN] leave without a tangible outcome or some 2. A middle period that promotes artifact that indicates progress your exploring & gets collects emergent gamestorming session is no better than the ideas. [EXPLORE] meeting formats that you are trying to 3. A closing period that wraps up the supplant. Closing a game might be as activities & offers a convergent simple as identifying some thread does not summary of the accomplishments or look fruitful & moving on. Or, it could be a results [CLOSE] handout (sort of like this!).The book visualizes that format like so: During the explore phase, if you see your gamers getting caught up in details encourage them to experiment. If you see your gamers lost in high-level abstraction encourage them to examine the most interesting of their ideas. Forcing people to participate is not going to make for happy gamers. You will get theNow, that we have more clarity to our best results with willing folks. If people“WHAT” question, let’s start of a have laptops, ask them to put them away.discussion about this: If they don’t, encourage them to take a break, go for a walk, or ask them to leave.How do we lead Gamestorming? Note taking or “knowledge capture” shouldHere’s the SUPER lightweight how-to: not require a laptop – that’s what all the Post-Its, index cards, & paper is for!  Find a topic or problem Materials [4]  Pick a game (or a series of games) Gamestorming – Gray, Brown, Macanufo  Determine how you would introduce Visual Meetings – David Sibbet the game world to a group (think about Visual Teams – David Sibbet whether the group would need an icebreaker to develop comfort) Innovation Games – Luke Hohmann References –  Let the group explore the game space that you have introduced. Only The numbered references that appear here intervene if you observer them are called in the above link along with more struggling or the flow of the information on related topics. exploration has not be established Beyond Today  Plan how you would bring together the @alenards / #CCGstorm / emergent ideas from the exploration to a tangible outcome