It's the merry month of May, so it's time for another informal get-together of the Serious Gamers Of The Washington DC Area. If you haven't attended before, here are the basics:
• Our meet-ups are problem solving and networking sessions, open to everyone.
• By everyone, we mean anyone interested in serious games. Just curious how they could help you? Want to hear if other people are using serious games to tackle the same challenges you face? Need pointers to where you might get help?
• Be ready for interesting conversations. We attract people from across many different professions, with an interest in all kinds of games. Need a game to help understand customer requirements for a software development project? Want to hear how use games to give citizens a better understanding of an important issue, like health care or energy policy? Interested in how to use games to teach employees about their role in computer security? Those are some of the topics we've covered in our meetings.
• You can use the opportunity to stump the experts. For instance, I maintain a web site, seriousgamesatwork.org (http://www.seriousgamesatwork.org), that chronicles serious game success stories across the spectrum of challenges and organizations.
• It's informal, so we're ready to have fun. We always bring games to play, and you can feel free to bring some, too. Want to find some playtesters for your serious game? You might find some at this meet-up.
Kick up your boots, pardner
One of the games I'll bring to this meeting is a game in which players collaboratively write a Western story, using cards that weave characters, plot twists, and other elements into the tale. I've designed the game for people to enjoy for its own sake, but there's also a serious application that I have in mind. If you're interested in playing, I'd be grateful for whatever playtesting feedback you'd be willing to provide.
Big plans for a big game
We plan on doing a bigger, more formal event later this year. One option we're considering is a "mega-game," a role-playing exercise involving lots of people. People use these types of games to teach emergency preparedness, test strategies for handling national security crises, anticipate future competitive challenges, and achieve other goals. If you have suggestions, or you want to help, please let us know, either during the meet-up or through the meet-up group.
With all that said...
Look forward to seeing you there!