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Gamestorming for playful creativity

by Philipp Brunner



Games for Innovators, Rulebreakers and Changemakers

dmcgroup at the Gamestorming Retreat Vienna

It all revolves around a few key questions – especially for the creative industry:
How can innovative thinking and the generation of ideas be encouraged and cultivated?
What methods are there to help teams find answers to crucial, project-related questions in a short space of time? How can these teams work productively on common ground and have a lot of fun at the same time? And what techniques can be used to achieve all this easily and at any time?
In the everyday life of a creative agency like the dmcgroup, these are crucial questions.
The ability to develop innovative concepts in a short space of time and to activate creative potential regardless of schedules and tight deadlines are crucial to success in the industry.

Between 2006 and 2010, two books were published that attempted to approach the above questions in a new way and thereby revolutionize innovative processes in the business world.

“Innovation Games” by Luke Hohmann proposes 12 games to help uncover hidden customer needs and requirements.
The book “Game Storming” by Dave Gray, Sunni Brown and James Macanufo, collects over 80 well-known game ideas and also takes up the idea of using these games specifically as a technique for team brainstorming sessions.
Play is a method of exploring the world that people train and master from an early age. There is a natural learning process in structured play, which makes it possible to develop ideas almost incidentally – in the process of playing – or to create a better understanding of joint teamwork.

One day to practice playing

A retreat is a creative time-out – a day that a team takes to reflect on its working methods and fundamental questions of collaboration.
The Gamestorming Retreat Vienna, organized by Michael Lausegger and Clemens Böge on Saturday, 6 April 2013 at the Hub Vienna, had exactly this objective and was dedicated to “team building”.

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The two coaches first introduced the two teams of six people to the basic dramaturgy of gamestorming sessions, which the “facilitator” (session leader) designs and coordinates with a set of games:

  • Open: Opens the session. Games to loosen up and introduce the team members.
  • Explore: This is where the actual creative or team work takes place.
  • Close: The final session is intended to conclude and possibly summarize the exploration phase.

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A new approach to complex projects for the dmcgroup

dmcgroup has been exploring these new, innovative brainstorming techniques for some time. Several customer projects have already been launched with inception workshops that used gamestorming techniques to generate ideas and establish a common understanding of the project.
What all these projects have in common is that both customers and the dmcgroup team were amazed at how effective and informative the compact gamestorming sessions were for the launch.
In this way, gamestorming techniques have now become an integral part of the dmcgroup’s daily working methods.
In this sense, to speak with “Innovative Games”:
„Playing Games is Serious Work!“

From noodles, marshmallows and soup circles

Da die Klausur unter dem übergreifenden Thema “Teambuilding” stand, beschäftigten wir uns mit Spielen, die die kreative Zusammenarbeit im Team in den Mittelpunkt stellen.
Für die offene Phase war die eine, durch Teamaufstellung aufgelockerte Vorstellungsrunde vorgesehen.
Der Hauptteil, das Erkundungsspiel, forderte die Teams mit der Spaghetti/Marshmallow-Herausforderung zu noch nie dagewesenen Leistungen beim Bau von Nudeltürmen heraus.
Die Abschlussphase wurde mit dem Spiel “Circles & Soup” gespielt – eine Übung, um rückblickend Ziele und deren Realisierbarkeit für das Team zu erfahren und zu formulieren.

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