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Gamestorming by James Macanufo, Sunni Brown, Dave Gray

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Chapter 6. Games for Exploring

RARELY DO WE FIND EXACTLY WHAT WE WERE LOOKING FOR. The end result often emerges in surprising ways. Games that explore are for navigating, combining, interpreting, and otherwise working with ideas to discover something new.

Exploring games make and break patterns. In some cases they ask participants to create forms, and in others they ask them to split them apart. In most cases, exploring games are best used "in the middle" of an activity—before deciding and committing to action, but after the space has been framed and opened.

If we only opened raw ideas and then closed in on our favorites, we wouldn't create anything new. Games that explore chart the space in between.

The 4Cs

OBJECT OF PLAY

Simple information-splicing games come in handy because, in an intentional way, they disrupt the standard ways we break down topics. The 4Cs game is a quick way to gather and organize information about any subject using four common key concepts.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

5–20

DURATION OF PLAY

30 minutes to 1 hour

HOW TO PLAY

  1. Before the meeting, decide on a topic you want the players to explore and draw a 2×2 matrix in a large white space in the meeting room.

  2. Write the following categories in each box of the matrix: "Components", "Characteristics", "Characters", and "Challenges". Then, draw something that represents each category.

  3. Tell the players that this game is about exploring and sharing what they know about the topic based on the 4Cs. Define the terms of each "C":

    • Components

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