better than a book

March 20th, 2010  |  Published in Picture This  |  4 Comments

Stop reading right now and watch the video. When you’re done, continue below. You will not regret it.

After finishing to watch this incredibly good talk of Jesse Schnell at DICE 2010, I was pleased to learn that he also has a book about the practice of game design, exploring the different strains and approaches of his profession.

What makes this special (apart from the content), is the way it’s organized. The book contains 100 “lenses”, which each cover one specific point and ask a couple of questions to self-explore it (this block technique is also quite common in books like the “for dummies” series of book). The are spread around the regular book chapters but also available as a separate deck of cards, containing concrete actions on the specific angle (example).

Why is this so incredibly clever? Because a book with 500 pages just collects dust and does not allow you to constantly review specific parts that easy.

When doing my review of the proven models in business education, I already though about the possibility to turn the graphics and a little description of them into a nice reference card. That way you can use them in group planning sessions, for theory review or as a learning guide (just like plain old flash cards). This guys proves it’s good, and the reviewers on Amazon agree.

Here’s another example for using cards in a teaching/consulting role.

But as with everything else, even flashcards and such are becoming digital. You print them if you need, or you track and repeat progress online.

Just like visual triage, the main advantage of print-out versions of the ideas is of course the flexibility: endless space, quick rearrangement and most importantly: easy to socialize around in a team session (compare that to a laptop screen or mobile phone).

proven models, printed on paper (no description yet)

proven models, printed on paper (no description yet)

So here’s the question: Would you like to have a set of cards containing the fundamentals of business management? From SWOT to PEST to SERVQUAL? If yes, how much would you pay for it? If no, would you prefer a mobile app?

  • Chrisdonaldsons
  • Jesse Schell is really a think tank on his own and inspiring not only me it seems. ;) I just bought the book a while ago but as I was away for vacation the book never made it's way to my bookshelf, which is sad.
    However: The way the book is organized might be clever, but I believe it doesn't matter wether it's just a book with a whole lot of pages or something fancy like those cards. What matters more is if you work with the material and sink your teeth in it, but asside that: yeah it's always good to have more value than a book can offer.
    BTW: Jesse's Blog is allways a great way to both entertain and educate yourself.

  • Hey!

    You're definitely right: If you don't use the good stuff that one-man-thinktank provides, the delivery format doesn't matter.
    But i was actually a bit disappointed by the blog, as it seemed so much more informal (or random) than the book.
    Well, now i noticed: That's exactly the point of a blog in the first place....

    Edit: Now I noticed the guy actually has 2 blogs (wow).
    http://thingsifinished.blog... and
    http://gamepocalypsenow.blo...

    Or is there another one?

  • The second one is ddefinately the one I meant. The first is just a bunch a books he read it seems to me (interesting books, I'm subcribed to it nonetheless), but the second one has more to do with what Jesse said in his DICE Talk. However this blog will not give you explaination after explaination, it's more like a little intellectual treat to fire up your inspiration and imagination when it comes to the future of games

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