Three game design lessons for strategic change

Last week, I rediscovered a video called ’20 years, 20 lessons’, in which Mark Rosewater (head designer for a game called Magic: the Gathering) shares important design lessons he learned over the past twenty years of designing the game. If you haven’t, I really recommend you watch it here.

By the way, there is more to learn from this game and playing it, for instance what I shared on the art of corporate meta gaming.

This video is worth watching for its entertainment value alone, but it gets really interesting when you translate it from game design to intervention design or strategy design for instance. That’s what this post is about……

Context is a Fickle Mistress

The ultimate metaphysical secret … is that there are no boundaries in the universe. Boundaries are illusions, products not of reality but of the way we map and edit reality. And while it’s fine to map out the territory, it is fatal to confuse the two.

– Ken Wilber

We’ve all had that feeling. You return from a life-changing experience, either a vacation, sabbatical, or something entirely different, and within weeks this morphs into merely an experience. This then slowly wears down to just a fond memory, of which you sometimes reminisce at parties….

The promise of gamification

More and more organizations are employing the mechanics of gamification to achieve goals in a different way. To most organizations gamification means that some of the more boring or tedious tasks will be executed better because it engages people in a competitive or reward driven mode of doing these tasks. This is fine. Actually, it is great because all parties benefit from it.

But, if you look at some definitions of gamification, this is merely scratching the surface. …

The art of corporate Metagaming

When I play Magic: the Gathering with my group of friends, we play this game by the rules that come with it: card interaction, turn sequences et cetera. The result of any game could be defined by the cards (assets) we bring into this context of rules and the way we are able to put these rules to our advantage.

However, as we are human beings playing this game, we bring a lot of other stuff into the game that is not related to or part of the game itself. For example, I could use my knowledge of the social dynamics of my playing group to my advantage. I know that I will push an emotional button of one of my fellow players by something simple as a remark on his playing style, triggering a series of effects that influences the game (preferrably to my advantage of course). In other words, by bringing in some outside information into the context of the game, I can influence the game. This phenomenon is called metagaming….

Accellerating a process without losing its power

Last week, while facilitating a group of people through a session on collaboration, something struck me. There was a huge difference between the group’s and my perception of how things were going. The group thought they were making fundamental steps towards a more succesful way of working together and all I was thinking about was how it should be more, better and faster. It turned out that I was projecting the “what could be” on the “what they can reasonably achieve” a bit too demanding. …