The engagement game is designed for situations where one group wishes to involve a wider range of interests in something that they are planning to do. This might be, for example, a programme of neighbourhood improvements, a policy discussion, or development of an organisation. We have tried to make the game as flexible as possible.
The organisers - who we have called the programme team - might be open to a wide range of ideas for the start, or they might only be prepared to offer some limited opportunities for people to provide suggestions. They may offer involvement though a range of methods: surveys, events, online discussions.
The game is played in a workshop setting, with groups of 4-7 spending at least an hour with a set of cards and other "props". They first explore the situation, and the purpose of engagement, then use the cards to generate ideas for involvement and action, and finally move to generating stories about what may happen.
The game can be played "for real" to help design an engagement programme, or as a simulation at a seminar or conference with a larger number of people. It's a good way for people to start exploring the wider issues of participation and engagement.
Development of the game during 2006 was funded by the UK Department for Constitution Affairs - now the Ministry of Justice - as part of their democratic engagement programme. We built on this game development with further funding from what is now the Department for Communities and Local Government as part of the Digital Challenge programme. That led to the Digital Challenge game, which you can find out about and use here.
Playing the game
Read about participation and engagement