Exploring game mechanics and much more

On an Open Space session of the Conference of the Applied Improvisation Network in Oxford (August 2016) Dave Cooper http://www.drdavient.com facilitated the game “Cat on yer head”. The group who played grew very fast up to 30 people and had lots of fun. You can find a free description of the game here http://www.playniac.com/games/cat-on-yer-head/– in this video https://t.co/e8snPQuyLi you will see how it is set into action in a conference setting.

It is a great example on how embodiment fosters learning and understanding. I think the game is fantastic to really feel the concepts of game mechanics / design also very valuable to experience, explore and evolve…

  • Mutual awareness and perception
  • fast and agile collaboration
  • how (together) to cope with obstacles and challenges
  • interdependence of things happening in a system and your possibilities to influence them
  • creativity (also by together inventing and testing new variations and elements of the game)
  • reflecting verbs like “chasing”, “winning”, “losing”, “interacting” and why we often mentally (and in our actions) support the mouse and not the cat – so it is also could be a game dealing with oppression, refugee-crisis…

Some ideas to variations of the game:

  • play with emotions and colours of voices “cat”, “mouse” and others utter depending on tempo, distance, success, failure…
  • substitute “mouse”, “cat” and other components with parts of a mathematical or chemical formula, a statistic method, archetypes of members of a team (or a family), elements of a project, process or also of a story / treatment / concept: Who is chasing whom? Who “wins”? What happens else when two components meet? What nourishes them?
  • While “cat”, “Mouse”… are chasing the group also passes on a Word-by-word or sentence-by-sentence game – which also could influence “cat”, “mouse”… and their actions
  • Play the game parallel with two, three or more grids that represent different “worlds” – what happens, after these grids are combined with or without the people involved know something of the other worlds, rules, heroes or villains?


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