Games as Gateways to the Adjacent Possible


Wise words from wise fellows.  Much of my work during Games Week on #CLMOOC has been trying to make sense of the kinds of games I like to play.  Not board games, not online games, but idea games.  I love idea machines.

I think I created a game that is a machine for seeing.  Here are the breadcrumbs:

#CLMOOC Make Cycle Three newsletter –>Diigo highlighting and extraction–> transfer to Hackpad–>transformation in Hackpad–>game rules devised–>game played (and playing) by applying rules to Susan Watson’s cooler than cool Obscure Sorrows and Joys Museum Game

So…to sum up.  The folks at GlassLab Games who are facilitating this Make Cycle asked us to do an awful lot of stuff for a week.  I tried to make sense of it by creating a game called “The Thoreau Game: Simplify” where I tried to translate their 36 verbal imperatives into a manageble number of commands. I got it down to twelve.  I then did what they asked, “For this Make Cycle, “We invite you to use game design to analyze, remediate, and reflect on complex systems.”

That is what I did.  I did the same thing in the last make cycle, I remediated the cycle newsletter to define remediation.  I think this process can be considered to be an idea machine because you can start with any text as source for game rules and you can make them your own by simplifying and translating.  And then you can play the game by applying them.

In the end, the game functions as a key to open up doors to the adjacent possible.  For me this is ongoing because I keep coming back to Susan’s museum game and applying the principles I cadged and remade from the newsletter.

Like I said, I love idea games and ideation machines and playing the games they can generate.  I am not any good at all coding in any language except this written one.  It is the oldest and I think best code of all.  Flexible, enduring, and sustainable.  That’s more than can be said for the stuff that dies when the electrons stop flowing, but I am super happy that GlassLabs is here to help.

4 thoughts on “Games as Gateways to the Adjacent Possible

  1. hahaha please approve this comment and earn a Comment Approval Badge.

    I love and appreciate the way you share your processes and hackpads. Thank you. As usual I am unable to fully verbalize my thoughts and feelings about this in the moment. But rest assured, there are lots of them. Some of them are deep and some are shallow. All are appreciative.

  2. I have recently run two Game-making sessions for staff at my uni based on the resources offered by Alex Moseley and Nicola Whitty on their website:
    Both times the sessions went really well – people enjoyed the activity – and the games that they had designed… but mostly I think they liked the fact that the game-making process took them through the stages of thinking differently about their work.
    The last session was last week, and I hooked up the participants with #clmooc as well – and they loved the idea of game-making as a critical lens.
    Interestingly, three of the participants devise induction activities – so we thought about developing the game-making resources to use with student ambassadors so that they could devise novel induction activities to lead…

    1. We can talk all we want, what really matters is where the rubber meets the road. Like here in your work. I will check out the site above and maybe work thru their 10 steps.

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