As we are reaching the end of the process of developing a tailored innovation policy-themed board game, the time is ripe to start reflecting on the feedback that has helped us build the game throughout.
For the last five months, we have been working with Digital Liberties, a cooperative of game makers, designers and political analysts to develop an innovation policy-themed board game building the capacity of innovation policymakers to create better and more efficient policies.
Our players take on the role of innovation policymakers attempting to put together a package of policies to address large social issues, like air pollution or data protection for example. Players must then use a range of tools to uncover evidence and policy ideas from five different stakeholder groups. The game also includes a fixed budget and event cards that are meant to disrupt the game and force players to adapt their strategy.
In essence, the game and its mechanics are quite simple. They were designed to get the players to understand the need for collaboration, the importance of experimentation and the necessity of bringing in different perspectives to understand the needs of the beneficiaries of specific policies.
Prototyping different versions of the game and testing them has been a key part of the development process. Back in April, we tested a first version of the game with 26 South East Asian policymakers, participating in the Global Innovation Policy Accelerator, a collaborative development programme for senior innovation policymakers. We gathered great feedback on the theme, the narrative and the mechanics of the game, which was incorporated into the next version of the game.
Early June, we were incredibly excited about being able to playtest this new version of the game at this year’s Innovation Growth Lab Global Conference in Boston. The conference gathered more than 160 participants from 23 countries over three days, with around 50 speakers and facilitators running sessions on topics as varied as participation in innovation or experimentation in government, all the way through to the use of simulation for policy training and practice.
The session was a great opportunity to test the game yet again with innovation policy professionals and practitioners and gather their feedback to understand how to improve the game and develop its final version. So here are three of the main feedback elements, and how we are working on improving them:
We will be finalising the game over the next few weeks, and it will be made available on the Nesta website by the end of summer. In the meantime, we will continue sharing lessons about what Nesta and Digital Liberties have learnt from the process of developing this board game.
Do not hesitate to get in touch with us should you want to learn more or if you have any questions and suggestions.