GroupThis workshop can be run by one person, but ideally it should be run by two or more people to help moderate the workshop activities.
Duration of workshop2 Hours
GoalTo ensure that the workshop encourages a spirit of collaborative creativity, and clever entrepreneurship.
Core Idea(this is for the person running the workshop, instructor, don’t show this) Create something out of the tools you have around the room, make a game out of it, and if you could sell it, how would you? Attempt to sell your invention to other members of the group. Now try to figure out how all your group member’s inventions could be sold as a package.
What the Instructor Should Do Prior to Running The Workshop
- Read through the entire workshop. There is some set-up to be done.
- Materials are EVERYTHING for this workshop. It is up to you as the instructor to provide as bizarre and random an array of objects as is humanly possible for the workshop. Nothing is really out of the question. Here are some of my recommendations:
- I have found that cardboard, or other large pliable materials are a must have.
- Tape. If nothing else, you should definitely bring tape.
- Odds and ends, such as string, coins, and tiny rubber balls are pretty handy.
- Scissors. If you’re doing anything with paper or cardboard, you will need scissors.
- Because participants can also use anything they can find in the room, you’ll want to think about the space you run this workshop in as well.
Icebreaker - (5 minutes)
Go around the room, have everybody introduce themselves and state something about themselves. You should pick a topic! For example, have them say what their favorite animal is. Anything is fine. After that, ask this question.Did anybody here ever have a dream business they wanted to start, or even just a really cool idea you had, but you never actually did anything with?
Introduce - (4 minutes)Show the original 10 minute Caine’s arcade video.
Stop the video at about 3:35.
(Watch the first video! No need to watch the credits!)
Brief Discussion On the Video (5 minutes)
Read to the class: Like Caine, the hope today is that you will all learn how to be a good creative inventor, by creating an idea, and acting upon it. Caine started with an idea he liked, and he rolled with it. And because he kept going with it, the idea grew to be even bigger than Caine or the filmmaker who made this video imagined.
Note to the instructor - know that this workshop will require you to be enthusiastic, and enter into a spirit of imagination and creativity. There are some blurbs written in italics below that require you to be a bit of a performer. Delivery is important, and commitment to the role play moments are important to framing the workshop. So commit enthusiastically!
Now Read/Paraphrase this (transition into next part): Caine’s Arcade is the story of a little boy who wanted to let his imagination come to life, and a filmmaker who wasn’t satisfied with that. So, in the spirit of imagination, I’m going to give you a little imaginative role playing to do.
Narrative - (as long as it takes to read - 2 minutes)To be read to the group: This is 10 years in the future. You have been abducted by a secret underground organization known as The Players. The Players have just revealed to you a secret truth about the world. That a really really really cool physical arcade game has not been invented since that air-ball thingy in the 80s. The Players have done their research, and they believe that each of you are the best people to make this new machine. They are tasking you with prototyping a new game that the world can enjoy and play, before we all get bored. Since you have been abducted, and since everyone knows you are genius, rather than give you infinite tools, you have been provided with all the tools you need, and anything you had on you at the time, which would mean anything you guys have on you now, and anything you can find in the room.
Arcade Game Rules for Building (as long as it takes to write - 2 minutes)These rules need to be on a cheat sheet, or written on the board by the instructor (ideally in advance) so they can be checked at any time by the participants. The participants must follow these rules while building their game.
- There needs to be a goal
- You need to physically build something - no board/card games!
- You need to be able to play it more than once
- A turn at your game can last no more than 2-4 minutes
- Groups need to be no larger than 3 people - ideal size of 2
- Groups should feel free to help each other out! Don’t limit yourself to collaborating with your group!
Make a game - (55 minutes)
To the instructor - So there will be 5 pieces to this exercise - Brainstorm, Implementation, Playtest, Scrap It, Rapid New Implementation.
These times are not set in stone, if they make a game in an hour that's all that matters.
The instructor should call out these times for the people in the room, but state that this is more of a guide than a must-follow (“By now you should be at this step”). Feel free to write these on a board/make a cheat sheet here as well. Participants should know the layout of this game-making phase like you do.
- First 5 minutes to create and find tools
- First 10 minutes should be a Brainstorm - hold onto these ideas!
- Note that you should come up with a bunch of ideas during the brainstorm. No ideas are bad ideas. Only after brainstorming should you evaluate your ideas. Instructor, please share this note on brainstorming with the class.
- 20 Minutes to Implement/Build the Thing
- 5 Minutes to Playtest (get others to try it out, or have them try it themselves)
- If it sucks, 15 Minutes to Rebuild, if its great, think of how you can make improvements to it, how you can mod it, and maybe even decorate it!
- If you have extra time, build another game! Or decorate your current game!
Narrative Part 2 - (as long as it takes to read - 2 minutes)To be read to the group: The Players never told you they wouldn’t take your game. It just so happens they want to make sure its perfect, so they’re giving it to someone else to see if it can be improved. In the spirit of entrepreneurship, you must now all take your game that you’ve put so much love and energy into, and give it to someone else. And that person will have to make sense of it without knowing any of the rules, and very soon pitch it to convince the Players that it will save the world from cliche carnival games. By the way, the Players have sent a representative to judge the pitches. It’s me. (Or, if there’s multiple instructors, you’d say “It’s us”) Now, collaboration between teams is totally off limits. It is up to the instructor to decide who switches their game with who. This is a lesson to the participants in collaboration - if they had helped out other groups and gave away how to play their game in the previous exercise, they will have an advantage here, just like the real world!
You’ve Been Bamboozled! Switch and Pitch! - (15 minutes)
In 15 minutes, participants now need to make improvements/mod the game they’ve been given, and at the end of 15 minutes be able to pitch the game they have.
This part of the exercise is supposed to be pretty frantic. The participants need to quickly ask themselves - how do I play this game? what is the goal? how long should a game last? Among other questions.
The instructor should note at this time that participants are allowed and in fact should mod/make improvements to the game. Or even make the game include more/less people!
Tips On Pitching - Say this as they are working on their mods/improvements
You should ideally be able to answer most of these questions:
- Be able to explain the idea in a sentence.
- How do I play your game? (You may just want to have me play it)
- Where would you place this game?
- How will this game save the world from boredom/cliche carnival games? i.e., Why is this game fun?
- Could you make money off of this game? How?
The most important thing here is being able to explain the idea in a sentence, and being able to explain how the game is unique and new. Be sure to convey that to the participants. If they can’t do that they get a thumbs down.
Pitch! - No more than 5 minutes to convince that its fun - Time VariesExample: 4 games*5 minutes each = 20 minutes total.
So, now you as the instructor(s) with any neutral party will need to judge each pitch. They will pitch the game to you, and then you should play their game. You either give them a thumbs up, or a thumbs down, and you have to give them a reason why.
Bring It All Together - 10 minutesTo be read to the group:
Taken from cainesarcade.com: On returning from Canne’s Lions International Festival of Creativity, Caine had these things to say about what he learned from the trip:
- Be nice to customers
- Do a business that is fun
- DO NOT GIVE UP
- Start with what you have
- Use recycled stuff
THE BIG QUESTION: How does this activity relate to what you might see in the business world?
What did we learn from this experience? What did you see a lot of happening as the game went on? What was helpful about this exercise? What was frustrating? Now go home and bring creativity and entrepreneurship to your own lives.