Games for Disruptive Improvisation

This tactic is adapted from one that I’ve used before as a training session for facilitators at TELUS Spark, intended to build comfort with running programs that aren’t well-defined. The original format was developed in collaboration with Meghan Durieux, a fellow Public Programmer. One of the games that was developed during this process has been run as a program at several Adults Only Nights. This format would be suitable for 7-10 people, though it could be run for more or fewer.

  1. Break the larger group into small groups of 2 to 3. We’ll need to have an even number of groups.
  2. Each group will draw a goal from a set of cards (prepared and brought by Kathryn Blair) for the goal the final game should be aiming at developing (for example, “building confidence,” “taking social risks” or “relaxing and winding down”).
  3. Each group will draw an element of a physical game from a second deck of cards (for example, “someone is it”, “freeze”, or “hiding”)
  4. Each group will have 7 minutes to develop a simple game to play with the full group that uses their physical game element and attempts to meet their goal. It does not have to have winners or losers.
  5. For the remaining 6-7 minutes, groups will pair up and divide the time evenly to teach and play their game to the other group.

AUTHORED BY:
Kathryn Blair, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
Kathryn Blair is currently completing her Master of Fine Arts in Media Art and Technology at the University of Calgary. She completed the BFA Honours program in Visual Art at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC in 2009. Her work focuses on the role of algorithms in society and human interaction with technology. She often uses wearable technology and physical computing to explore these themes. She has been involved in the Calgary-based tech couture

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