SOCIALL. A board game for social change.

A solution by FFFF submitted to A board game for community development

We will design – research, prototype, test – implement and scale a social board game that can create the context for young citizens from communities at risk to innovate and get involved more.

(Pitched: 15/04/2018)

One Page Summary

The challenge, as summarized by its owner, is to design – research, prototype, test – implement and scale a social board game that can create the context for young citizens from communities at risk to innovate and get involved more.
Our core audience includes teenagers attending schools in rural and small urban communities, as well as their teachers and the existing local civil society.
The design and implementation of our board game have to fulfil several objectives:
- To summarize and to gamify the specific steps and tools of social action and social entrepreneurship;
- To serve as an alternative tool for debriefing, training and project management;
- To bring to our audience attention different opportunities and partners that could be accessed and contacted, in order to help them in their endeavours;
- To ”walk the talk”, to demonstrate the benefits and the value of the information it presents to the players.
- To generate and nurture self-confidence, hope, community spirit, creative ideas and grassroots initiatives based on the game experience.

There are four components or phases to our proposal: the Research & Workshops, the Board Game, The Competition, The Scale-Up.
The Research & Workshops refer to the preparation and testing phase of the board game. We intend to make the most of the challenge owner field experience and extensive knowhow in order to:
- Gather insights regarding our audience understanding of the topics. In order to build the content for the board game we will use their existing guide for community facilitation in schools as well as their reports and the feedback they have received from their beneficiaries. We are planning at least 50 hours of research and debriefing with the challenge owners.
- Identify, create and validate scenarios and examples to be included in the game (i.e.: key resources needed, main risk in implementing social projects, recurrent situation and opportunities, main stakeholders); We are planning at least three workshops and moderated debates.
- Co-design, test and refine the game mechanics, including balancing the point system and the victory conditions. We are aiming to reach at least three communities and involve at least 50 representatives of the core audiences into testing sessions.
We have already sketched the structure of the Board Game that we will develop and refine during our Research & Worshops phase. SOCIALL is a turn-based simultaneous-action-selection resource management game that can be enjoyed by 3-8 players in playing sessions of 40-120 minutes. It includes a board, a set of players pieces, and set of 200+ playing cards grouped on three categories: Resources, Challenges and Wild Cards. The aim of the game is to reach a maximum number of Community Points after 10 turns. Each turn, all the players decide secretly what kind of resource they want to access (Human Resources, Marketing, Funding). Alternatively they can choose to pick up a challenge or reconnect with their Community. If two or more players have chosen the same action, they have the option to collaborate or confront the other player in a resource-costing instant competition. The game allows multiple strategies – cautious, cooperative, impulsive – and presents to the players real life situations and insightful information from the specific field of social action and entrepreneurship.
The Competition is a meta-layer of our proposal. In order to be sure that the game sticks and its players put to use in real life their game skills, we propose the challenge owner to organize a competition opened at first exclusively to our target communities. A fraction of the game sales and of the grant funds will be directed to a prize pool for our players. The use of the money will be restricted to community projects and will constitute seed funds (i.e. from 500 up to 1000 Euros). The implementation of the projects will be supervised and coached by the challenge owner.
The Scale-Up phase will be based on the success of the Board Game and the insights of the Competition. We are considering a national pilot phase where the same principle is applied: a fraction of the game sales supports a yearly national competition where the winners can bring their community project to life. Basically you play the game for a chance to change the real life game. We are confident that this approach will attract the needed marketing and PR buzz and will drive the sales up, as each game bought will increase the yearly national competition prize pool.
One of our strong points is the direct and tight step-by-step collaboration with the challenge owner and its main beneficiaries. It is a by-the-book co-creation approach that minimizes the risks.
In terms of competition, we don’t think there are relevant players that can combine our in depth knowledge of the local non-profit sector and social action specificity and our passion for gamification and alternative learning tools.