Making Democracy Fun How Game Design Can Empower Citizens and Transform Politics

ISBN-10: 0262026872

ISBN-13: 9780262026871

Edition: 2014

Authors: Josh Lerner
List price: $30.95
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Description: Anyone who has ever been to a public hearing or community meeting would agree thatparticipatory democracy can be boring. Hours of repetitive presentations, alternatingly alarmist orcomplacent, for or against, accompanied by constant heckling, often with no clear outcome ordecision. Is this the best democracy can offer? In Making Democracy Fun, JoshLerner offers a novel solution for the sad state of our deliberative democracy: the power of goodgame design. What if public meetings featured competition and collaboration (such as teamchallenges), clear rules (presented and modeled in multiple ways), measurable progress (such asscores and levels), and engaging sounds and visuals? These game mechanics would make meetings moreeffective and more enjoyable -- even fun. Lerner reports that institutions as diverse as the UnitedNations, the U.S. Army, and grassroots community groups are already using games and game-likeprocesses to encourage participation. Drawing on more than a decade of practical experience andextensive research, he explains how games have been integrated into a variety of public programs inNorth and South America. He offers rich stories of game techniques in action, in children'scouncils, social service programs, and participatory budgeting and planning. With these real-worldexamples in mind, Lerner describes five kinds of games and twenty-six game mechanics that areespecially relevant for democracy. He finds that when governments and organizations use games anddesign their programs to be more like games, public participation becomes more attractive,effective, and transparent. Game design can make democracy fun -- and make it work.

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Book details

List price: $30.95
Copyright year: 2014
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 2/21/2014
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 288
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.00" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.188
Language: English

Josh Lerner is the Jacob H. Schiff Professor of Investment Banking at Harvard Business School, with a joint appointment in the Finance and the Entrepreneurial Management Units, and a research associate and codirector of the Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Program at the NBER.

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