We read about it all the time. The future of video and computer games. Leading specialists predict it’s going to revolutionize our world, and completely redefine how we organize our selves and interact with each other. Some even talk about games and the principles of gaming as the way we’ll organize how we work!
Obviously game design has some pretty amazing and promising aspects, but it’ll still be a while before we organize and base client and user participation around 3D-avatars and true ubiquitous computing (if this idea is still sound). I mean, in reality we are still organizing client participation around various kinds of workshop concepts.
So, what about good old board games, like monopoly? Can’t they be of some inspiration? We think they can – and we are certainly not the only ones. Since the early 70’s, different scientific groups and fields have tried applying the principles of fundamental game design to workshop activities – with promising results.
One outcome of this research is called design games. A game-like activity where participants are invited to share ideas and experiences – and contest the ideas of each other. Simple rules (like ‘turn taking’) contributes to structure the participation, and the playfulness of the game (i.e. dice and the game board) stimulates the creative potential of the participants (constraining participants to combine ideas, that at first may seem non-intuitive).
Finally the materiality of the game pieces helps visualize the state of the game and keeps the various discussions focused and on track.
As you can probably imagine by now, we see a lot of possibilities and future scenarios in this new approach, and we are attempting to adapt it and in the end make it a part of our UCD-framework. Currently we are in the process of becoming familiar with the concept, and we recently held our very first – and accustomed – design game (that’s what the picture show). A design game about future cooperation between teams and which core values to work towards. The game was a success. Although there, of course, were room for improvements. So we’ll keep playing. And posting…