Out of the idea to organize a game- and storytelling-centered meetup with other graphic recorders, we happened to co-creat a simple yet fun game to train and exchange how to visualize key concepts with fellow visual minds.
During my time in Berlin, I’ve met wonderful people and started several collaborations. One of these people is Christoph Baierlipp, a fellow graphic recorder and facilitator. We talked about business and touched upon how to train visualization in a fun way. A few weeks ago, I had the idea of hosting a game night especially for graphic recorders and visual facilitators, which I shared with Christoph.
As many cool initiatives and projects, this one, too, started with the magical words „Wouldn’t it be great if…?“. And as many other cool initiatives and projects, it needed a first follower, stating „Awesome, let’s do this!“ to help midwife the initial idea and make it happen.
In our case, it was as much about how to midwife as about how to co-create, so we shared the idea of having a graphic recording taboo evening in Berlin with fellow visual minds living in the area.
First, we realized that it was not at all clear which game I was talking about. Depending on cultural context, what I knew as „taboo“ was called „pictionary“ or „cranium“. Anyway, it’s the game in which there is a stack of cards with one word per card, which a person needs to explain, draw or act out in front of the other players. Who guesses the right word gets some credits for it.
Second, we realized that neither had anyone of us the original game, nor would everyday words like „cooking“ be very helpful for our cause to deepen our professional visualization skills.
But we wouldn’t be trained KaosPilots and Design Thinkers, if we wouldn’t come up with another idea within the blink of an eye: instead of discussing games, names, words and rules, why not co-create a new game that truly fits our needs? Armed with a stack of paper, some card board, several markers and a scissor, we met in a café and started doodling.
While having hot soy chili chocolate (oh how much I love you, Berlin) and a cold beer, we sketched and laughed the evening away. This turned out to be one of the most effective prototyping sessions I ever had.
Even drawing the board together worked out perfectly well, we each designed two sections (Christoph: explain & sketch, me: act & joker) and the differences in drawing- and writing-style makes the board game even more appealing. What a joy to work in such a flow! Maybe it is due to the café playing Michael Jackson all night long!?
At the end of the day, we created a first beautiful board game prototype, collected a whole bunch of possible words from meta to moonwalk, briefly talked about rules, created a google doc in which other visual professionals can add their key words and shared the whole thing in the amazing Graphic Facilitation facebook group.
So far, the response has been amazing. People are incredibly supportive, are actively sharing the idea and participating in finding more key words for the game. And we’ll host a first round of test playing very very soon.
Berlin, stay tuned! Good times coming up. Nevermind the moonwalk.