About @Stake

@Stake is a multiplayer role-playing game that builds empathy and creativity for small group deliberation. Whether it’s used in classrooms, conferences, strategic board meetings, or public events, @Stake helps players understand how productive conversations thrive with authentic listening and diverse perspectives. It’s free and easy to play online or as a tabletop card game.

Even when all parties have the best intentions, civic or political issues often involve conflicting interests coupled with deep resentments and community divides. With @Stake, players are provided a deeper understanding of community needs by considering different perspectives before making collective decisions. In the game, 3–5 players introduce their character’s perspectives, jump into think mode to invent creative solutions to the issue being discussed, and take turns proposing their ideas and arguing from their character’s point of view, complete with secret agendas. After three rounds, the player in the Decider role chooses the best idea and awards points. The player with the most points wins and retains bragging rights as “best deliberator!”

@Stake began as a tabletop card game in 2013 to facilitate conversations about youth unemployment in Moldova with the UNDP. Since then, it has been used in a number of workshops and conferences all over the world. After increased demand for the game and a research study with the Participatory Budgeting Project, the Engagement Lab received a Knight Foundation prototype grant in 2015 to make a mobile version. The resulting digital game synthesizes and streamlines the tabletop experience to make it more immediately playable.

Play our new digital version of @Stake here, or download the tabletop card game here.

Supported by the Knight Foundation.

  • @Stake at the Frontiers of Democracy 2014
  • Las Vegas Conference
  • @Stake at the Frontiers of Democracy 2013
  • @Stake and the Centering Conference
  • @Stake with Howard Stein Hudson firm
  • Bhutan gameplay
  • Playing with the Boston Participatory Budgeting Project and the Youth Delegation
  • Filming our tutorial
  • New York City Participatory Budgeting Project
  • A Sample Card
  • @Stake:Game Research for Deliberative Democracy and Group Creativity (Presented at the CSCW 2016 Interactive Poster Session)

    Click below to download a printable guide with new rules and role cards. Everything you need to play and facilitate your own game of @Stake.

  • @Stake Rules and Role Cards
  • This implementation report includes reflections from the gameplays of @Stake with three Participatory Budgeting meetings in New York City during Fall 2014-Winter 2015.

  • @Stake PB White Paper

@Stake News

@Stake: A Series of Field Notes in Game Development

@Stake: A Series of Field Notes in Game Development

@Stake is dissected and explained in this Engagement Lab blog post

Printable @Stake Game

Printable @Stake Game

An announcement of @Stake 2.0 that can now be printed out at home!