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Gamestorming by James Macanufo, Sunni Brown, Dave Gray

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Object Brainstorm

OBJECT OF PLAY

Objects play a special role in brainstorming. A tangible object helps externalize the thought process, just as sketching or role play does, but often in a more immediate and concrete way. Because objects suggest stories about how they might be used, they make a great starting point for free association and exploration.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

Any

DURATION OF PLAY

30 minutes or more

HOW TO PLAY

Before you can play, you will need to hunt down a collection of objects. Nominate yourself as the curator of your collection. It's worth considering what kind of investment you want to make. Although a trip to a second-hand store to find interesting (and cheap) items is a good start, if you are expecting to make a habit out of the exercise it may be worth the time and expense to look for items more broadly.

Although you will find your own criteria for your collection, one rule of thumb is to collect "things that do things." Functional objects can offer more inspiration. Other things may make it into the collection based on their characteristics or personality, or simply because they are "fun." Here are some types of objects to consider collecting:

  • Kitchen gadgets

  • Hand tools

  • Instruction manuals

  • Functional packaging and dispensers

  • Containers and compartments

  • Sports equipment

  • Toys and games

A good collection will evolve over time, and a good curator will get others involved in contributing to the cache of items.

Object brainstorming starts with a question, such as "How will the next ...

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