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@Stake is a digital multiplayer roleplaying game that fosters creativity and empathy in small group deliberation

Addressing different perspectives while solving complex social problems is a science and an art. At times, the barriers between overcoming community divides and biases to solve local problems can feel impenetrable. @Stake was created to help facilitate productive and fair conversations in classrooms, conferences, strategic board meetings, and public events. By playing @Stake, participants learn that productive conversations thrive off of authentic listening and multiple perspectives.

From infrastructure needs to inter-agency collaboration and PR campaigns, @Stake can be used to explore a variety of issues in your communities. In the past, it's been used for:

  • Participatory Budgeting Priorities
  • Comprehensive Urban Planning Issues
  • Countering Youth Unemployment

Empathy Building

Whether you’re playing the role of a recent immigrant, a staff member in the Mayor’s office, or a small business owner, gain a deeper understanding of diverse community needs by considering different perspectives.

Creative Brainstorming

In fast-paced and timed rounds, players think quickly on their feet to experiment to brainstorm the most creative ideas and collaborations from the perspectives of their assigned characters.

Practicing Deliberation

During lightning rounds, players analyze each other's ideas and balance different agendas to reach a winning solution.

3 Rounds + Many Creative Ideas + One Winner

@Stake is played with 3-5 players in the same room. After introducing their character’s perspectives, players jump into brainstorming mode to think of solutions to public issues. Players then take turns proposing their ideas and arguing their point of view to the table’s Decider. The group debates to reach a solution that is best for all through intense deliberation. The best ideas that emerge from the deliberations win!

Learn More

@Stake began as a card game in 2014 to facilitate conversations about youth unemployment in Bhutan with the UNDP. Since then, it has been used in a number of workshops and conferences for organizations like the UN, non-profits at Harvard University, The Frontiers of Democracy, and the Centering Healthcare Institute. After increased demand for the game and a research study with the Participatory Budgeting Project, the Engagement Lab received a Knight Foundation prototype grant in 2015 to make a mobile version. The mobile game synthesizes and streamlines the “teaching and training” process card game to make it immediately playable. If you are interested in the card game, you can read more about it here

Design and Development Team

Principal Investigator
Eric Gordon
Product Manager
Jordan Pailthorpe
Lead Developer
Johnny Richardson
Game Designer
Sam Liberty
Game Designer
Christina Wilson
Project Manager
Becky Michelson
Art Director
Aidan O'donohue
Junior Developer
Erica Salling
Junior Developer
Matt Benson