Arjan, the City of San Jose Budget games was a pretty large production - it took several months of planning with the City leaders. Which is perhaps a very big contribution: you have to be committed and provide the time and energy to produce a great serious game. And the group you're working with must also want to get involved.
We have the benefit of a global team of more than 400 trained facilitators, and more than 30 donated their time to this event. So, another contribution: ask for help. Chances are you'll need it. And chances are you'll get it.
A key part of the Innovation Games process is making sure the organization playing the games is committed to taking action against the results. In this case, the Mayor's office was committed to incorporating the results of the games into the budget. Avoid doing games "just for fun". Serious games are... serious. They are designed to solve a problem (not teach a concept or purely entertain).
Arjan, these are some highlights. I've posted extensively about the San Jose Budget games. I recommend you read these posts, which include detailed explanations of the design considerations, results of the games, and future ideas on how we can use games to promote civic engagement. Here are the five key posts:
Avi, Great comment! I wrote the foreword to Gamestorming, and several Innovation Games are included in the book. We've been using serious games like Innovation Games® and Gamestorming games (e.g, Empathy Map) for a number of social good projects.
One of our most successful projects was helping the City of San Jose, CA engage more than 100 community leaders to collaboratively prioritize budget items through a specially designed version of the game "Buy a Feature". You can learn more about our success with this project, and, hopefully, join us in extending this project, here:
We also helped the Triple Helix organization design solutions to complex problems through government, industry, and academic partnerships through Trilicious, a game I designed to foster innovation and knowledge sharing. You can learn about Trilicious - and adapt it to your needs - here: