Here are 4 ways to play Shakeserendipity. There are many other ways the game could be played.
Option 1 is the easiest logistically and conceptually as each player receives the same resources.
Option 2 is intermediate because there is a mix of shared and differing resources.
Option 3 is more challenging because players have more choice.
Option 4 is a Wild Card focus.
All Options assume that you will be working with a facilitator (or teacher) and a group of participants (students or teachers) in a classroom context.
Option 1 (Easy)
All players have the same resources, making it easier to draw connections.
- Select a time for the players to come together. If you are working as a class, this will be straightforward.
- The Game Facilitator sets up the online game (for the chosen Shakespeare play) on a large screen so all players can see.
- The whole group votes on which cards to flip. Up to 4 can be selected. You might allow or disallow the flipping of the Wild Card or Tame Card depending on how daring the group is. This can be made into a fun, lively exercise.
- Once selected, the Game Facilitator emails the card content to him or herself and then on to each player.
- Each player takes time independently to read, view and consider the card content.
- The players and the Game Facilitator meet for a second time. They discuss as a whole group their reactions to the card content and pursue ways in which it illuminates their understanding of the play. The Facilitator should emphasise the ‘serendipity’ agenda: in other words, urging the sharing of fresh and unexpected insights and connections between card content and the play, and between the content of differing cards.
Option 2 (Intermediate)
All the players have one shared resource, and some resources that they have chosen individually.
- The game begins by ensuring all players have one shared resource. The simplest way to do this is to nominate the Wild Card or the Tame Card as a compulsory choice.
- In addition to the shared resource, each player (either at school or home) visits the online game to select 1-2 additional cards (excluding the already shared resource - which may be either the Wild or Tame Card).
- Each player then reads, views and considers their card content. They list some insights into the play arising from the card content. They also consider what insights might emerge by colliding ideas from different cards to generate surprising or ‘serendipitous’ connections or hybrid ideas.
- The players come together as a whole group and the Facilitator coordinates the general discussion of their ideas and card content with a priority on promoting ‘serendipitous’ connections and novel ideas. Players will need to be open to hearing about card content they have not seen personally, as well as intellectually agile so as to hop on board and discuss unexpected ideas and content.
Option 3 (Challenging)
Players (or teams) do not necessarily have shared resources. This may be played as a whole class or individually (as per Options 1 and 2), or by organising the group into smaller teams. In each case the aim is to promote fresh and unexpected ideas and approaches to the play.
- Organise your players into pairs or small teams.
- Each team (in turn) plays the game online in front of the whole group, selecting 2-4 cards.
- Once the cards have been revealed, the teams separate to read, view and consider their chosen content.
- Each team compiles a list of 3-5 ‘serendipitous’ or surprising ideas or connections between the play and the card content.
- At a later time, the whole group reconvenes to share their experiences and take the discussion further by colliding the teams’ various insights.
- Each player independently plays the chosen game. They select 2-4 cards, and read, view and consider their chosen content.
- Each player makes a list of 1-3 ‘serendipitous’ connections or ideas that arise from considering the play and the content they have selected.
- The players come together as a group – each must bring their resources and their list of ‘serendipitous’ connections or ideas.
- The Game Facilitator can then choose to have a whole group discussion or divide the players into teams. The discussion should aim to make fresh connections between the card content and the play.
Option 4 (Wild Card Focus)
- The players come together as a group without having previously played the game.
- The Game Facilitator organises players into teams and sets up the game on a screen for all players to see.
- Each team plays the game. The team must select only 2 cards. They are not allowed to pick the Wild Card.
- Once each team has made their selection, teams separate to read, view and discuss their content.
- In a second meeting, the whole group reconvenes. The Facilitator then reveals the Wild Card on-screen.
- Each team is given a period of time to read, view and consider the Wild Card. The teams should devise some ‘serendipitous’ connections between the Wild Card, their selected card content, and the play. The whole group reconvenes to share insights about the Wild Card and its impact.
For a simpler (although effective) use of the Wild Card, try this: a full group (or small group) discussion of solely the Wild Card and its relation to the play. For a little more complexity, one other card could be flipped and that content included in the collision of ideas.
Create your own game
Shakeserendipity is designed to be open-ended and flexible for use in classrooms and other learning environments. You can use these games in any way that suits you and the other players. If you come up with your own way of using Shakeserendipity, we’d love to hear about it, so please do get in touch!