Son Of Sun Tzu blog

Son Of Sun Tzu blog

They keep saying my audience will find me…

Copy over the cyber post.

GO THROUGH Notes in Fastmail, but they’re more focussed on future me, this is a blog post.

Follow that format and intro, then group my thoughts, same as last time.

Great to hear the discussions of definitions that wrack more experience participants, what is this called? Purposeful Games?i ( don’t fun games have purpose? ) Applied Games? Business Games? ( aren’t these useful outside of corporate contexts? ) Serious Games? ( but we learn through fun and entertainment ) Transformation Games? ( nice, but very generic, also many of us have been transformed by “fun” or hobby games.

Wardley is so good at balancing just making decisions and getting things done, while also genuinely leaving decisions up to others, I see it as “surfing” the crowd’s thoughts and requirements.

( post this to Wardley Discord when done ).

Wardley Mapping seems to struggle with multiple users - sometimes it feels like it was made for simpler situations that I’ve seen it used in, in these contexts.

As before, international perception of and use of the English language, including Americans, is useful - just to think about the words you use and what you try to communicate with them and where a particular oword does or doesn’t apply.

Nice from Simon “what we need is in the minds of everybody”, similar I think Cristene said about everybody coming with their own biases, while they fight against them, is why we have a wide group of people, to help cancel each other or counter that - reminds me of the oft-quoted reason for running wargames, something like “no matter how clever, a man can’t write down a list of ideas he wouldn’t have”.

Early thinking about rules is interesting, they were described as “enabling constraints”, as otherwise there’s no limit to what you might do or think or consider. Similarly that got me thinking - privately - about implied rules. For example Snakes and Ladders is seen as a game of luck, but if you simply choose not to roll for the next move yet, and then wait for your opponent to expire, you win.

Two users / value-chains was good, brought out the tension between a game’s sponsor and its users, and what they have in common. For example “easy onboarding” is of value to both sets, whereas actionable data at the end of probably much more in the sponsor’s interest than the players’ interest.

Talking to people - timewise, from Calgary to Australia, so looping round really.

Sponsor versus User - DuoLingo was a good example, the sponsor/designer wants to keep you on their as long as possible, you want to learn a language, presumably to the extent that you get off the platform.

The zoom/fidelity of the technique struggles outside of specific technical decisions - there’s a reasom a cup of tea is the example. ( read all the examples in the free book, are they all technology specific? ) That struggle might be useful, but also it’s tricky and slow.

Every statement about a game I can think of real world or conceptual counters. Like a game needs players, or it needs human players. ( game of life ).

Mapping turns implied ideas into explicit statements, and also into notes and mapping decisions, which makes for a higher quality of conversation.

On language, ( don’t name names ) Kimerley regarded development as only applying to the increased ability with existing skills, whereas to me it also includes the idea of that skill coming into existence.

I kind of like the tension, this is a process that welcomes productive disagreement - and by tension I do mean the gentlest disagreement over where the conversation was going.

I wonder about the need for strong facilitation, short sprints to the next idea, or through a requirement - but also free-flowing conversations takes you in interesting directions. Depends on why you’re mapping really. Also you’d need a really strong hierarchy, and be able to deal with any fallout afterwards.

A group can be too big or too polite, maybe - as per above - depends on the requirement for the group. I was quite quiet some days, because I think there’s only so many voices ( I wonder if there’s a queueing theory allegory to sparky smart people and talking and getting things done in a meeting ), as per a point I’ve made before, I could disagree with every assertion or statement - i.e. game is physical or virtual, so analogue or digitil - why not both? And that’s where the really interesting parts lie.

At this level of abstraction I think it’s pipelines “all the way down”, which to me if a useful outcome. It shows that maybe you’ve looked at too high a level and/or this is an area ripe for evolution. In this case I think it’s both.

Also I need to get paid for this - I like a self-selecting group who have the time and interest and extroversion and willingness to experiment. I wonder if you get better cognitive diversity, but more disagreements, if you force a group together.

I think the group was hampered by loss aversion - which personally I’m very familiar with, so this is very much a statement not a criticism - does a Wardley Map need a parking lot or a discard pile or something, where removed ideas can be retrieved from, ot otherwise acknowledged, or a viewer can see what was ignored.

Similarly, listing what is implicit in some legend or key stops debates about what should be included and turns more conversations into where. ( ping W on LinkedIn if he’s on discord ).;

Interesting suggestion, people should spend some time together first just to get to know each other, and to avoid time being taking with those kind of conversations - but then how do those people get to know each other? Maybe map twice - but you’d be reiterating the same process. This process is interesting because it’s so difficult. It was said that the process was difficult ( I assume Wardley is under Chatham House too ) because no-one has done this before, I’d agree and disagree. lots of conversations were similar to those in wargaming circles for example, but not in such a structured way. So kind of familiar, but different sets of people, with a different “angle of attack” on the problem.

So much power in being the speaker or being the scribe. And of course not necessarily maliciously.

I didn’t agree with much of the map < LINK > but that’s good isn’t it, a map is an expression of an opinion, and it was great to hear people who aren’t as familiar with this area to say how much they were learning, and I was hearing opinions outside of the usual circles. While not related to this aim the worst method for the future of the serious games industry or any part of it is to only talk to the people within it, when the whole point of the industry is to work with people outside of it.

A long term project, meaning the mix of people present changing, was really interesting/useful. I’d be interested to know if in other contexts this kind of variety is forced.

The same questions were being asked on the fifth day as were on the first, I think - but what mapping does, rather than meeting where you’re looking to get to some kind of answer - something like that happening shows what the key questions are. For example, really thinking about player motivation.

What online wardley mapping needs, that I don’t think it has, is a diff or version control/comparison of some way. Or as above, things like a discard pile.

Finished right up to the deadline, on such a big topic again you just need a deadline.

I’m not sure if this happened last time, but it was useful to hear everyone quickly described their maps, and reveal how difficult they’d found the process.

Timezones are horrible, timezones around daylight savings time are worse.

I was defeated by the mute button - I think ARAP - As Real As Possible - should have been its own separate thing. I think fidelity ( there was a great example of learning to drive, a realistic simulation gets awa\y from real world risk ).

What stuck out from our map for me, very much my view:

  • top leftish, data and insights, DCMP is hard for everything
  • simulations profiles but across the pipeline, improving the game’s understanding of the player, bottomish left
  • delivery modes, particularly my special interest in hybrid, or playing with time, bottom middle
  • assessment - as an alternative left, top-ish right
  • self-actualisation - topish right, games provide better and quicker feedback than courses and exams

Recruiting is interesting, America’s Army or whatever it is for US army, has Truck Driving Simulator attracted people?

Does the process need facilitators who aren’t mapping, but guide everyone and keep them to time?

The areas of investment for society and for money matched two out of three. This was a really interesting outcome, especially compared to what we found matched or didn’t match from the users and the sponsors pespective, which confounded our expectations.

The group is self-selecting, only people with this amount of time and endurance - which I’m not sure are the best selection criteria.

But also… different people from different cultures with different biologies at different times of day, so timezones are an advantage here

When categorising items are the very end still there was disagreements over definitions, so it was good that “hard choices” and that something wasn’t defined as one item or the other or everybody was kept happy.

Interesting on what I’d see as confusing tense - people saying it doesn’t reflect current analysis or current importance… but we’re looking to the future not the present.

Good call back at the end - from going to a pile of ideas of “things that matters”, and 12 hours later there’s clarity on where to invest to improve society and where to make money.

The process at the end is interesting - take ten areas for social, tean areas for capital, from each map, and put them in a big table. Any box with a yellow is plus 3, any box with a grey is plus 1 - into rows that have emerged by looking at the lists. Then you score them, and see what are the areas to invest in. For example, AI content just wasn’t highly scored, whereas it’s commonly discussed.

( end note - there’s not a specific notification list, just keeping an eye on Wardley in “all the taggy places” )

One contributer called it “a challenging blast”, which I think sums it up nicely. There are all sorts of issues with the process, but relative to BOGSAT and reckons.