Participatory Game Design
Brainblender is a board game that encourages people to play and develop ideas – from plain silly to world changing.
The game fosters teamwork and assists people to come up with unconventional solutions to conventional problems. It was co-developed at the Interaction Design Workshop at UMAS (Arts Academy, Split) by Institute’s member Pika Novak.
THE SEAL WHERE STORYTELLING AND TECHNOLOGY INTERSECT
The aim was to create both, a game and an idea generator in one. Brainblender’s game principles and strategies can be applied in everyday life whether we would like to change our perception of the world around us or just to put the decision making into a playful process.
Brainblender is a board game for four players. First, all players choose a question, either out of twenty pre-prepared questions or create their own. Second, each player writes his or her idea in response to this question on an idea card and places it on the board. In the next round a dice throw decides which variation of their initial idea players have to develop. For example the idea should be made more strange or horrific or architectural. This idea variation is then written on another idea card that is placed on the board. Players explain briefly their ideas and the choice of placement of the idea card. When idea cards of different players connect, the two players have to blend their ideas and create a joint idea in response to the initial question. The game ends when all idea cards are connected to each other.
The versatility of the game can be exemplified by different scenarios:
What should we do? A game to make your life more interesting by coming up with more unconventional ideas to replace your “bore space” – bored state of mind.
What do we want to change in our room/house/yard/city?
Imagining up possibilities in a playful fashion to change one’s room or a classroom, re-imagining your courtyard, or the activities in the city.
How can we take our ideas further?
Liberating our mind flow through playing we can arrive to unexpected, creative solutions.
Brainblender is an open source game prepared as DIY assembly in PDF format. It was designed for everybody and it is free for download.