Ask HN: Any good examples of learning through games/puzzles, for adults? | Hacker News


Conversa is a conversational and ideation tool using board game dynamics that we've developed: http://lifeandeverything.net/

By scaffolding good conversations, it helps a group learn _from each other_ as well as _how to converse_. Through our trials, I've been delighted to see how well it works with families. I've learnt much about my children's thinking and feelings.

A bit more info: We believe two things are needed to bring together differing groups into fruitful dialogue. Firstly, a set of clear, explicit, and strict rules that everyone submits to (regardless of existing power structures). Secondly, a relaxed, playful and fun context. These two seem in tension, and yet we integrate them all the time - with games.

Conversa is a tabletop game that helps a group talk about the big things in life in a way that's real, safe, and fun. It's an ideation and conversational scaffold that uses game dynamics to create the right amount of structure to let conversations flourish. It was designed by award-winning game designer, Tim Roediger, from an original concept by Martin Olmos.

Conversa is the anti-Facebook experience. Players meet in person, facing each other rather than their screens. They share an intimate time where it's 'just us', with no wider audience watching or judging. They respond to a prompt creatively, from a limited set of image cards. They get to see each other smile, hear each other chuckle, while tasting a shared drink. Each gets a turn without being shouted down, although no one has to say more than they want to. It's a real game, with a score and a winner. But there's a twist - the points go to the player who opens opportunities for others to speak up. Rather than insults, the outcome is conversation that builds relationships with listening, learning, and laughing.

We've trialled it in organisational contexts and with children as young as eight. We're looking at applications in design, team ideation, project reviews, risk assessment, and more. Below are two examples: Project Management: http://blog.lifeandeverything.net/post/147037633043/gaming-f... Focus Groups: http://blog.lifeandeverything.net/post/147037631598/gaming-f...

We are exploring paths to market. We are also exploring ways for larger groups (50-200) to use the game (e.g. company conferences, strategy development).

Disclosure: I'm in the two-person design team.