Games usually have an element of competition between players, and are decided by chance, strength, skill or a combination of these. Its key components are goals, rules, challenge, and interactivity, generally involving mental or physical stimulation, and often both. These properties are the reason why games are a good scheme to promote successful relantionships within collaborative design stakeholders, even when these ones came from very different fields. Playing games increases the social enterprise because of its entertainment and leasure dimension.
The game introduced - the user game - as well others not presented yet, are framed on action reserch projects which encouraged stakeholders in participatory inquiry and collaborative design. The games used have facilitated a user-centered design process.
"The intention of the User Game is to help the stakeholders involved develop a shared image of the intended users grounded in field data"º. The players use 2 types of cards: numbered moment-cards each one corresponding to a video of 30 seconds to 2 minutes; and sign-cards with a word printed in each one which are used to label the resulted stories. The videos are ethnographic data from inspired field studies.
Based on the cards each player get, they start altogether, sequently or randomly, to build (crossed-) stories. If players feel that watching the video will help then they can do it. They can also decide to watch all the videos before hand to get familiar with the field material. At the end the stories are record for further use.
At this point I'd like to point out that the game works as sponsor of a must wide approach which is the story method, used for instance at Nokia Design as they believe in the power of the stories to create experiences.
º Brandt, Eva, Messeter, Jörn (2004), Facilitating Collaboration through Design Games
Pictures' source: Eva's lecture presentations.