Workshop: Remixing Play into a Gameplan

Remixing Play into a Gameplan

Who is it for?


How long does it take?

Between 60 and 120 minutes

What is it?

Harnessing the power of creative thinking towards solving real challenges, topics or issues inspired by play and gameplay

Detailed Description

The approach has a key aim to make game-based design thinking more accessible to anyone with different literacies in game playing.  Inspired by the engaging nature of play and gameplay as a tool for learning, the workshop emphasises on designing playful experiences suited for the target audience (clients, stakeholders, customers, students, employees, etc.), which will inform the types of services, products and/or technologies that can be used to facilitate those experiences.

The act of play often produces intrinsic engagement and pleasure that enhance our interaction with services, products, problems, challenges, etc. It is therefore possible for us to be inspired by the mechanics of play for informing our strategy, design and construction of solutions that will be more human driven, more emotionally intelligent.

Simple example:

  • Challenge – how to increase sales of a product?
  • Inspiration – Hide and Seek with simple mechanics – Hiding and Seeking!
  • GamePlan – Hide rare items in products for customers to discover and collect. If done right, the Willy Wonka effect can be achieved when customers are encouraged to purchase more in order to stand a chance to discover those rare items.

The game plan can lead to a strategy, a service and/or a product! As the process is based on the Design Thinking process, it will be iterative, agile and incremental in order to refine a gameplan. The process will exploit playfulness and engagement to help encourage creativity and innovation.

The Steps

Step One: Understand the needs, context and audience

What are the key challenges you wish to address? What are the objectives/aims/goals? Who are your stakeholders? And in what context would your solution/intervention would be implemented?

Step Two: Get inspired by existing play and gameplay

What play and game activities that you like most? List them out? What are the core mechanics of those activities? Are there any particular game and play strategies that you can think of?

Map the different mechanics and use them as inspirations for the next step.

Step three: Map the needs and goals to the mechanics and strategy

How would you engage the stakeholders? Will certain strategies promote the aims and objectives you set out? What play and game activities that would develop certain actions, attitudes and/or behaviour?

Step four: Design your gameplan

Design and develop your strategy/solution/product/experiences that will address the challenges, achieve the goals and engage the stakeholders in the context that you set out in the beginning. Test your gameplan.

Step five: Pitch your gameplan

Share your gameplan and get feedback from your peers.


You can deliver this as team work. Each team can pick a theme or topic or challenge from a fixed list or they can choose their own. Go through the steps and encourage team members to collaborate.

The workshop can be delivered as a standalone session or embedded within a module as part of the tutorials, assignments and/or assessment process.

Please see sample slide deck that can be adapted:

Note: A card game is being developed to be used as a toolkit for the workshop


As the activity is participatory it should be easy to qualitatively measure whether the playful learning session has gone well or not. Consider the level of participatory engagement. Ask learners for verbal feedback and reflection on how they feel the session went.

Need help?

You can contact the originators of this tool by clicking the names below.