Monday, May 18, 2009

A "new" game you can play on a conference

Ok, YAPC::Russia 2009 is over, it was awesome event. I really liked it.

I'm going to talk about a game we played. Main idea is to gather new fantastic ideas for startups using -Ofun mode.

You have a subject, in our case it was the Perl.

You spend 15 minutes collecting a lot of events related to the subject that most pobably will happen in the near future (1-2 years), for example it's likely that perl5 will be in use on the same rate for the next couple of years. Chances are not 100% but very high, it's a perfect match.

It's ok to have things with lower chances to happen. This is prefectly fine.

At the end you should have a big list. We used some mindmap building software for managing and writing down ideas.

Then you decide that you're not interested in things that will happen for sure. And auditory spends next 15 minutes throwing away things that have 50% and more chances to happen and filling blanks with things that have lower chances. At the end you need from 3 to 5 events per 5-10 persons in the room.

For example microsoft releases perl6 or crazy things like nuclear war. It's better to avoid really crazy things.

Randomize list, split people into groups, each group gets from 3 to 5 events. People should imagine that they live in a world where events they recieved have happenned. Every group has 15 minutes to discuss new realities.

A delegate from each group present the future describing one or two things in their world. We were describing a CPAN module and an application writen in Perl. Here the list we had:

    1) big russian it companies organize a perl school
    2) CPAN gets simpler and understandable
    3) there is a perl CMS that you can distribute without a developer in the box
    4) russian kids study perl in low-school

Everything should be recorded in a file, so you have list of fancy ideas. You can compare different realities and come up with new ideas that applicable in the real world.


  1. I 100% agree with you that "It's better to avoid really crazy things." I think that because of super crazy things like "AI is written in perl" and "nuclear was started" the game was not serios and helpfull as it could be (nobody new how to implement this kind of things and because of that we had to make jokes around it).

  2. That's perfectly fine to make jokes out of it. We had really crazy ideas and I tried to maintain them towards more real things.