What do you associate with the month of June? June brides, June bugs...And now, serious games! (No bugs, we promise.) It's the June meeting of people in the DC are interested in serious games at our usual location, Tunicliff's Tavern, right across the street from Eastern Market.
If you haven't attended a session 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.
Games for teaching Agile principles
Several people in our meet-up group use serious games as part of Agile software development. (In fact, there's another DC-area meet-up group dedicated to Agile games. (http://www.meetup.com/Games-for-Agililty-Learning-Engagement/)) Games can teach some of the more challenging aspects of Agile better than words can. Games can help change the conversation with customers, to produce a better dialogue about what the software needs to do. Games can provide better ways to make decisions about important topics like, "How important is this software feature? And how much work will it take to build it?"
I'm one of those people who use serious games as part of Agile. If you're interested in this use case for serious games, I'll bring along a prototype of a new game that I've developed to teach people about maintaining a steady, reliable flow of work. (You can see another game that I've developed for teaching important principles about software development at this link (http://www.game-change-llc.com/diceofdebt/).)
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!