180 ideas by 22 experts

Yesterdays quick brainstorm idea generation session for DotGovLabs was a very interesting session indeed. Ren Reynolds had invited an amazing set of people and I have to thank them all for coming and joining in.
We only had two hours to see what we could all generate from one another’s interactions. Using the tried and tested (but still quite scary) technique of crowd-sourcing with post-it notes around the subject of Games and Government everyone dived right in.
Having (over) 22 people in one session was likely to be too many, but as it turned out once everyone got going things started to flow. The lack of complete structure is not always for everyone, though many people have experienced this free form idea generation before. I had created some themed areas to help focus some thought, but in general we wanted whatever came up to be put on the board.
I was very happy when the brainstorm “rules” I had on a whiteboard that included “Wild and extreme ideas are good” was adjusted to “are fantastic”
The voting section highlighted some interesting points which then led to good round table discussions on the subject too.
There are some report deliverables out of all this which need some work to put all the various other inputs together.
I went through all the 180 ideas and comments this morning grouping and ordering them. I also had a flashback to a whiteboard session in 1998 when I put MMORPG up in a session on where we should go with the web business at the old firm. It was not high on the list of voting, but would have actually generated a lot more revenue if we had engaged with it all at the time 🙂
Idea generation workshop
One thing I can share at the moment is the result of the warm up exercise.
I suggested that people write down a significant influential gaming moment and put that on the board. As we are dealing with engagement and we were in general a group of gamers it created the following list. See how many resonate with you 🙂

Playing quake for England
Doom II over a serial cable for the first time
Getting the Babel fish in hitchhikers guide to the galaxy
Getting an Xbox to try and get down with the kids (Failed!)
Meeting Darth Vader in Star Wars Galaxies
Pong in the 1970’s
Choosing to be a vengeful or benign god in Black and White
Discovering I was actually evil in world of warcraft (where I thought I was good)
Galaxian 10p after 10p spent in an afternoon
Swooping in Zagawhateva on flying mount
Capture the flag (in real life)
Having pong arcade game fall on me at youth club circa 197?
Heavy Rain
Seeing the power of narrative in Fahrenheit
Portal’s ending made me cry
T-Rex on original Tomb Raider
Learning to play chess with my dad
Linking 2 BBC B together and playing Elite for days with brother aged 10
Getting 70 on Iphone Scrabble
The death of Aeris on FFVIII
Seeing the facial animations on Half-Life2 on my PC (real time) for the first time
Finding out that ‘Hunters’ are really fun in PvP in World of Warcraft
Realizing what Stranglethorl Vale was saying
Completing Myst – No Cheats

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