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One of the things which I wonder about sometimes is – can we apply the principles, practices and techniques from one context to another one. Sometimes that’s a very bad idea but other times this could work well with the necessary adaptations and level of awareness. (One such example is Personal Kanban applying ideas from Kanban to real life but you may find numerous other examples which people blogged about). And another example which provoked this post is applying ideas from business sector to government.

Serious Games

Generally speaking Serious Games are games specifically designed and played to solve business problems. It’s believed that Serious Games, through fun and engaging activities, achieve better collaboration with customers, inspire creativity and provide better understanding of customer needs and ultimately lead to good results. (You can actually see that’s directly related to Agile’s focus on customer collaboration).

If you want to learn more about Serious Games – you should look for Luke Hohmann and his Innovation Games® Company who is evangelizing the idea. (I don’t know if that’s correct but I’m using terms “Innovation Games” and “Serious Games” interchangeably).

Amongst the many – an example of how application of such games is how Scrum Alliance used it in 2011 to improve their work by better understanding and prioritizing the needs of the Scrum community. (Actually this is the first time I got in touch with the idea of Innovation Games – I personally took participation in one of the “Buy a feature” games organized for Scrum Alliance).

Serious Games for Serious Civic Engagement

Finally I got to the main point of this post – recently I learned about a project aiming to use Innovation Games® to solve Government issues. Considering the low level of engagement of citizens in our country (Bulgaria) even on elections – I got intrigued by that project.

Here are some links which will give you a better description of the ideas behind the project I’ve just mentioned (if you like the idea – you may donate to the project or just support it in any other way in order to make it real):
Serious Games for Serious Civic Engagement
Help Us Transform Government Through Innovation Games and IndieGoGo

Innovation Games IndieGoGo Video from The Innovation Games® Company on Vimeo.

Play Manifesto

And here is one more initiative (not directly related to Serious Games) trying to promote the idea of importance of fun in our daily work: Play Manifesto. Take a look at following TEDxBG talk (in English) – Steve Keil’s talk titled “A Play Manifesto”: