The Beesness Classes

Playful masterclasses that make team-building both fun and purposeful.

Playing games. Then making your own games.

🛠 Tweakable to your team objectives.
🐣 No game design or coding experience required.
🎓 Led by Matteo Menapace

If I say company away day or team-building afternoon, what comes to mind?

Greetings, presentations, paintballing, barbecuing?

Colleagues need to connect, but sometimes those activities seem disconnected.

What if exploring shared values as a team could be fun and purposeful at the same time? And no, I don’t mean volunteering to clean up the local park (although that’s a noble cause, but not an easy one to convince your team to embark on).

How about playing and making games for an hour, or an afternoon, or a day?

People playing a board game

Why make games?

Games are more than just fun.

They are a powerful medium because they let us step out of our (job) roles and immerse ourselves in a different world, with its own rules and roles. Unlike other media, as players we constantly make active choices: we shape the story, instead of just consuming it.

Beyond solitary entertainment and power fantasies, games can make us think, help us learn and engage with complex questions, and problem-solve in a safe space where mistakes are free.

Beyond zombies and space wars, we can play games about our reality. And we can make games about how we want to transform our reality.

Making games promotes empathy

A game doesn’t exist without players. Imagine making a game for (or about) another team in your organisation. When designing it, you will really have to get into their shoes, understand their challenges and their goals, then turn your understanding into a playable activity.

Making games fosters deep conversations

A game doesn’t have a fixed outcome. When the outcome depends on the choices of all players, you will naturally start discussing ideas, weighing alternatives, and making decisions together. This is super-charged when you become the game makers.

Making games stimulates systems thinking

A game is a bunch of rules. Rules defining how you can play, and rules describing how the game world will respond to you. When you are making the rules, you make that world. Whether the world is your organisation, your industry or a problem you're working on, you will model that as a system, identifying its moving parts and exploring the behaviours of its actors.

Making games gives teams agency and initiative

A game is a playable model of a complex system. When the system you are modeling is (part of) your business, the game becomes a tool for teams to explore ways to interrogate the system, and tweak how it works. Asking a lot of “what if” questions, designing and testing solutions which could be applied in the real world.

A board game prototype

Why board games?

Making board games can be quick and simple

In a board game, there is no software that gets in the way. You are the game engine. You constantly process rules and check that other players are not cheating. This means that making a new board game can be as simple as agreeing to new rules between players.

You don’t need to know how to code. No need to worry about digital bugs. All you need is paper-prototyping material and a curious mind.

Making board games is collaborative

Instead of working on a computer (a device designed for a single human) when making a board game all team members can throw ideas on the table, move pieces around and think together.

THE BUZZ 1 hour

Playing & making games to energise your team

Get your team out of a creative rut. In just one hour you will build a new game by breaking and re-making an old one. Leaving inspired to tackle your projects from more angles.

The agenda
5 min Creativity = hacking the new out of the old Lightning talk
15 min Play and analyse the verbs & goals of an existing board game Team work
20 min Hack that game with new verbs & goals that suit your values Team work
15 min Playtest your new game with another team and get their feedback Team work
5 min Reflect on what you learned and share how you'll apply that to your projects All together
A charitable hack of the board game Monopoly
The fine print

🛠 Tweakable to your team objectives
🐣 No game design or coding experience required
🧰 All materials for game-making provided
🥡 Participants take their games home
💷 £500 for up to 20 participants
🏢 More than 20 people? We'll bring more facilitators

Interested? Let's talk

THE WAGGLE 3 hours

Playing & making games to practice collaboration

No fluffy talk about team communication. You will experience how to focus on common goals by remixing a competitive game into a cooperative one. Leaving with a new mindset.

The agenda
15 min Collaboration = making board games great cooperative again Lightning talk
25 min Warm up by hacking rock-paper-scissors Team work
25 min Play and analyse the verbs & goals of a competitive board game Team work
10 min Break
45 min Hack that game with new cooperative verbs & goals Team work
40 min Playtest your new game with another team and get their feedback Team work
20 min Reflect on what you learned and share how you'll apply that to your projects All together
Taking notes next to a game prototype
The fine print

🛠 Tweakable to your team objectives
🐣 No game design or coding experience required
🧰 All materials for game-making provided
🥡 Participants take their games home
💷 £1000 for up to 20 participants
🏢 More than 20 people? We'll bring more facilitators

Interested? Let's talk

THE SWARM 1 day

Playing & making games to solve real problems

Practice collaborative game-making in the morning. Then use your new skills to reframe the problems your team is trying to solve, and model them as playable systems.

The agenda
15 min Collaboration = making board games great cooperative again Lightning talk
25 min Warm up by hacking rock-paper-scissors Team work
25 min Play and analyse the verbs & goals of a competitive board game Team work
10 min Break
45 min Hack that game with new cooperative verbs & goals Team work
40 min Playtest your new game with another team and get their feedback Team work
20 min Reflect on what you learned and share how you'll apply that to your projects All together
60 min Lunch Break
20 min Games as systems: a systems thinking primer Lightning talk
20 min Identify your focus and map it as a system Team work
20 min Gamestorming: jot down 10 game ideas Individual activity
30 min Paper prototype your game idea Team work
30 min Playtest your new game with another team and get their feedback Team work
10 min Break
20 min Facilitate structured and playful discussions using your prototype. Team work
20 min Test your prototype with another team and get their feedback Team work
20 min Reflect on what you learned and share how you'll apply that to your projects All together
Reviewing a game prototype
The fine print

🛠 Tweakable to your team objectives
🐣 No game design or coding experience required
🧰 All materials for game-making provided
🥡 Participants take their games home
💷 £1500 for up to 20 participants
🏢 More than 20 people? We'll bring more facilitators

Interested?

Let's talk about how the Beesness Classes can suit your team.

to arrange a quick call!

🐝