Playing games as part of your analysis process

Everyone who has been in a meeting or process to develop something new knows that it is hard. You have to be able to do abstract thinking, visualise designs and structures in your mind, be innovative, be constructive. You have to get the viewpoint of your customer, your target audience, the benefits, the hows and whys.

And most of the time, such sessions are quite boring. Everyone gets their say (or that is how it should be going anyway). You throw around some concepts and you have to make sure everyone is on board and on the same page.

Visual thinking

Most of us think visually. If I would ask you to create something that floats on water, you probably have an image of a boat or raft in your head before you are thinking about water pressure and force.

So why are we then crafting documents, bundled up in heavy files that no one reads?

What if, we could do our meetings in a visual way? And make them more productive? And more fun?

That is what Gamestorming is. You are playing games in the meeting. No, not on your phone while no one is looking. The whole meeting is a game. Sounds to freaky or too abstract ? Or reminds you of a certain movie ?

Like Dave Gray, one of the founders, says:

In the same way that the process map, flow chart and org chart are models that we use to plan, organize and execute industrial work, games are interactive models that allow us to simulate and understand complex systems. Monopoly is a simple model of an economy. Tic-tac-toe, checkers and chess are more or less complex models of warfare. A game is a complex adaptive system, where the players act and react to each others’ actions in a complex, dynamic way.

And knowledge games, the games that are now being practiced by the leading edge of the knowledge economy, are models of business scenarios, environments and interactions. Games not only model systems, but at the same time they allow the players to experience those systems from within, just as customers do.


GoGameStorm is a wiki website that collects a lot of games you can play, nicely grouped in categories such as:

  • – Games for design
  • – Games for planning
  • – Games for problem solving
  • – Games for vision and strategy meetings

Every game is fully documented in the same way:

  • – Object of play
  • – Number of players
  • – Duration of play
  • – How to play
  • – Strategy
  • – Key points

Innovation Games

Most of the games also have a direct connection to Innovation Games, an online platform where you can play those games digitally. Innovation Games offers about 30 games you can directly play, all documented as well.

Just log in and start gaming in your meeting.

About: Marijn

Marijn Somers (MVP) has over 14 years experience in the SharePoint world, starting out with SP2007. Over the years the focus has grown to Office 365, with a focus on collaboration and document management. He is a business consultant at Balestra and Principal Content Provider for "Mijn 365 Coach" that offers dutch employee video training. His main work tracks are around user adoption, training and coaching and governance. He is also not afraid to dig deeper in the technicalities with PowerShell, adaptive cards or custom formatting in lists and libraries. You can listen to him on the biweekly "Office 365 Distilled" podcast.

%d bloggers like this: