People Poker!

Came across a brilliant online community called Shareable : Sharing through Design. Which in turn led me to People Poker:A game for the community. A brilliant product of the genius mind behind Neal Gorenflo of Shareable Magazine and Cristian Fleming of The Public Society. Excerpts from the article-



The first version of the game was still based on one-to-one interaction among participants, but included four different levels of tickets and a progressive rewarding system. This iteration was potentially unwieldy and taxing on people who were coming simply to hang out and enjoy themselves. Over time, the game was simplified into a high and low-reward system that required a minimal amount of complexity: Participants would find other people with matching symbols on their cards, creating groups of three people (for one free mixed drink) or seven (for free mixed drinks all night). Much of this became clear after the game was named.

One of the trickiest elements in the design of People Poker was the instructions. The game was meant to encourage socializing and facilitate a good time at a Shareable Shindig—and nobody wanted to drain the life out of the event by making partygoers learn a complex set of rules. So the instructions were simplified as much as possible, the creators hoping that people would get it quickly enough to play and enjoy themselves in the process.

What Fleming says-
"I really didn’t know what to expect. We handed out cards, and I took the stage to explain how the game worked. I still didn’t know at that point if people would play, but they did, and the whole thing moved incredibly fast. One thing I noticed, and didn’t expect, was people licking the cards and sticking them to their forehead—sort of a “blind man’s bluff” poker, minus the blindness."

Throughout the process—from creating the game to executing the event—strangers came together to serve a common goal, with everyone doing their part, and enjoying the rewards together. In this way, the project and the party became a microcosm of the sharing economy itself. Looking ahead, the game proved to be such a success that the creators have decided to refine it and use it elsewhere, and hopefully conceive of other sharing games and activities that encourage the culture of sharing in the offline world.

Who all are in? I'm all for innovative methods like these for community belongingness.

More at http://www.shareable.net/blog/people-poker-a-game-to-catalyze-new-connections