Our very own language of Systems Gaming


On Friday we pieced together a simple systems map of the Flaten region and made a loop of mini-games – five short games that each investigated a different aspect of the Flaten system.

The five aspects we chose to look at were: transport to and from Flaten, water quality, the kiosk, the caravan park, and the swimming beach. They all interacted as a simple complete system – each game took an input from one game, and produced an output for the next.

Interestingly, the games were all mini-games, closer to skill-testers than the more strategic decision-making games we’d been building in groups earlier in the work.


The thing that stuck out for me most on Friday, though, was realising how detailed the vocabulary we’ve developed around our work is. In nearly four years of working together, we’ve created a shared language of concepts that give us a great shorthand for making new work.

Things such as ‘mini-games’, ‘skill-testers’, ‘games vs demos’, ‘Bateman’s Vegas’ and many others, as well as all the language from Systems Science and Resilience Thinking.

It’s this unique cluster of skills that’s making me feel like we are the right people for the job Miljoverkstan need done – we have a lot of craft in this very strange niche.


It’s also hammering home the challenge of trying to do the second and third phases of this project with only a skeleton crew, instead of the full team. I feel like we’ve functioned really well as a group of five this week, and I don’t look forward to trying to achieve the same rate of output with only half the brainpower.

We’ll make it happen, of course – but I think it will make a big difference what we leave this first development with. Whichever of us end up coming back will rely heavily on what we create this next week.

So my question is: What do we need to produce by the end of this trip in order to give ourselves the best starting point when we come back to Stockholm in August?

– David



One thought on “Our very own language of Systems Gaming

  1. It is fantastic to have ones knowledge (including Miljöverkstans networks knowledge) about Flaten sorted and filtered through your “language”, your playfulness and very structured systems mapping in this intense way.
    It is interesting how both a more complex and a more simple picture emerges. I am beginning to feel that there are not so many different things that the actors taking care of Flaten need to share in order to do a much better job taking care for the area and putting together the power of their love for the place.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s