An ideation game conception based on the
Heiko Duin, Jannicke Baalsrud Hauge and Klaus-Dieter Thoben
Purpose – Ideation, which is the generation of ideas, is the most crucial step in the early stage of
innovation projects. Creativity methods can be applied for ideation purposes. Here, the paper aims to
present a concept for combining a multi-player online game called refQuest with concepts from the
Design/methodology/approach – After presenting the two concepts of the refQuest gaming engine
and the Synectics method, an approach of how the elements of the gaming engine can be used to
implement the Synectics method is shown. Beside this, an initial evaluation of the usefulness of using
serious gaming for ideation purposes is given.
Findings – It is found that the elements of the Synectics method ﬁt very well with the concepts of the
gaming engine of refQuest. A concept for integration could be derived.
Originality/value – The online game refQuest is suitable to support the ideation process. Including
concepts from Synectics is possible and would enhance the gaming concept.
Keywords Ideas generation, Indoor games, Computers, Innovation
Paper type Conceptual paper
Good ideas are often the result of the creativity of a single person or of a group of
collaborating persons. The best known method to support creativity in group settings is
brain storming, but the corresponding literature reveals a large number of other methods to
stimulate creativity such as Morphological Analysis (Zwicky, 1969), the 635 Method
(Rohrbach, 1969), and Synectics (Gordon, 1961).
The application of computerised and non-computerised games for educational purposes is
common practice. Broadening the scope from primary and secondary education to adult
education and vocational training, the usage of computer games can be summarised under
the term serious gaming (Sawyer, 2002). The European-funded project Laboranova explores
the application of such computer games in these early steps of innovation projects (Baalsrud
Hauge et al., 2007). One of the games developed in Laboranova is the game refQuest (Duin
and Baalsrud Hauge, 2008).
The refQuest game is based on a concept called Reframing the Question which focuses on
structuring the ideation process by stipulating speciﬁc perspectives for the innovation
workers (Møller et al., 2007). refQuest implements a guided and supervised process the
players have to follow. The current version of the game supports the application of actions,
the collaborative work on documents and the occurrence of disruptive events.
Disruptiveness can be understood as incidents (e.g. disturbances, mistakes, conﬂicts,
misunderstandings) that could provide sources for knowledge and deep insights into the
organisational structures and processes. Such incidents might trigger processes of
subjective and inter-subjective interpretations and inter-personal cooperation (Wolf et al.,
ON THE HORIZON
VOL. 17 NO. 4 2009, pp. 286-295, Q Emerald Group Publishing Limited, ISSN 1074-8121 DOI 10.1108/10748120910998344
Heiko Duin and
Jannicke Baalsrud Hauge
are Research Scientists,
and Klaus-Dieter Thoben is
Director, all at BIBA –
Bremer Institut fu
Produktion und Logistik
GmbH, Bremen, Germany.
Part of this work has been
funded by the European
Commission under contract
Project Laboranova. The
authors would like to thank all
project partners and the
European Commission for their