Prototyping the Culture Game #2

I recently shared an outline of The Culture Game, an experience that i developed to guide people through the experience of building a tribal structure, and pitting it up against other: an experience of how culture is held and battles within many Organisations.

It’s based upon a number of key ideas that have surfaced from the Landscape of Trust research, and other areas: that we ‘join’ an Organisation as a legal entity, but also as a tribal structure, that culture is held as a common consensual story by a community, that there is a tension between stated and formal ‘aspirational’ cultures, and the grinding reality of how it is lived.

I will guide the group through four spaces. First, to create an identity, fashion some artefacts, and script a ritual, all of which are mainstays of a tribe. Secondly, to curate their strengths, and reflect on how those strengths can constrain us. This is important, because in the context of the Social Age, we require a diversified strength, so if we hold a monocultural one, we may be less resilient, or weaker.

In the third section we visit other cultures, and welcome outsiders, which is about putting culture into conflict, and in the final section, we go to war: using stories to battle and dominate others. This last piece draws upon a key idea that stories can be used to hold identity and empower, but that they also surround us and limit our space for action.


This is the second full prototype that i have run: the first was with around 25 people, and this one will be around 40. I have streamlined it somewhat, but will still use the Graffiti Walls to capture the experience.

Each tribe owns a space that it can decorate: to capture and enhance it’s projected identity, but also to write its texts: the rules, rituals, and so on. At the end, we use these in a Social Storytelling activity.

The game is not perfect, but i hope to learn more tomorrow, and will #WorkOutLoud to share any insights or future evolutions.

About julianstodd

Author, Artist, Researcher, and Founder of Sea Salt Learning. My work explores the context of the Social Age and the intersection of formal and social systems.
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