Yesterday was another AgileHolland Agile Games Night and I was asked to present the Agile Games Incubator track. It is a fun and easy way to create your own agile games. The process was invented by Don McGreal (@donmcgreal) and Mike McCullough (@mccm68).
After explaining the theory behind PLAID we quickly set out brainstorming problems for our games to solve. One of those ideas was to show the effects of blaming in a team/organisation.
After some discussing the objectives of the game the team rapidly got into a prototyping mood with several innocent bystanders but when the time was up they did have a bunch of ideas, but no finished game, which was a shame.
But I have not been able to get this idea out of my head, especially not one of the variants they experimented with, which was building a house of cards.
So here is a version I would like to try at some point:
The Blame Game
First round: Individual reward/blame
Get a small team (3-7) people around a table to build the house of cards. The entire team gets 1 point for every card successfully added to the house with a bonus point going to the person who put it there. But.. if someone destroys the house, (s)he is deducted 10 points. It is possible for someone to pass and not add a card to the house. Timebox to 3 minutes or until everyone passes.
See who can get the most points.
Second round: Team rewards/blame
Keep the same team, but now the scores are different. For every card added to the house the team gets 2 points. And the entire team is deducted 10 points when a house is destroyed.
What I expect happens is that in an individual blame round people will just started passing instead of taking the risk to lose 10 points. This is what often happens in blame rich cultures. It is better to not do anything than taking a risk. You have to personally put down 10 cards to recover from the error, which you are unlikely to ever achieve.
In the team rewards/blame round, it is much easier to recover from an error as a team. Just put up 5 more cards as a team and you are even. In this round I expect many more failures but also a much bigger score for each individual.
I am really curious what you think and especially what your experiences are with it. If it is any good the results will be posted on http://tastycupcakes.org.