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2015 - Present

Partner Organizations

Tufts University
Boston Public Schools

Project Leads

Eric Gordon, Principal Investigator
Johnny Richardson, Lead Developer
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Problem Space

Even when all parties have the best intentions, civic or political issues often involve conflicting interests coupled with deep resentments and community divides.

Proposed Intervention

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. At the end of three rounds, the player with the most points wins the game.

Social Impact

@Stake began as a tabletop card game in 2013 to facilitate conversations among youth in Moldova about unemployment. Since then, it has been used in workshops and conferences all over the world. After increased demand for the game and a study that demonstrated its positive impact on group creativity, the Engagement Lab received a Knight Foundation prototype grant in 2015 to make a digital mobile version. The resulting digital game synthesizes and streamlines the tabletop experience to make it more immediately playable.

Related Publications

Gordon, E., Schirra, S. (2011) "Playing with Empathy: Digital Role-Playing Games in Public Meetings." In 5th International Conference on Communities & Technologies (Jun 29 2011)
Gordon, E.; et. al. (2016) "Engagement Game Guidebook."
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