To begin this assignment, I had to go back and refine my problem statements. I looked over my interviews, and decided that the two things that stood out to me the most were the need or want for faster sledding experiences, and incorporating a game into sledding.
Erik needs a way to make sledding fast and safe, because he likes to get air and go as fast as possible, but it is often unsafe.
Thus, I decided on these two "how might we" questions:
How might we...Make sledding more fun?
These are my participants! They loved the idea and were much more creative than I had expected :)
I asked each person coming to the brainstorming session these questions and asked them to think about them prior to coming, but before we started brainstorming, we played a game that I came up with to help boost creativity, and help create a playful atmosphere (after buying each of them a beer ;) ).
The game went something like this...
The first person in the circle says a word. The next person not only has to say a word that is opposite, but has to tell a story about that opposite word, somehow incorporating the word the person before them said.
Will said "noodles",
So Martha has to say an opposite word... she said "Shoes"
"I wore these shoes to a dance, they hurt my feet so I took them off. I danced all night and found myself so tired I just wanted to go home, I went home, ate noodles, and danced with an elephant."
The next person has to tell an unrelated story about the last word Martha said....
"One day I went swimming in the river. I loved it, it was warm, I got a tan, and drank warm beer. We went water skiing, but the tube broke because I invited my friend to tube with us. He was an elephant. This is how I met him: I went to the Zoo and saw a pink elephant. He was super nice so we hung out for a while, His name was Fred and we really hit it off. I got his phone number and he told me he would call, but I saw him at the mall the next day with a bunch of cheetahs, and he never called after that".
Jake then took the word "mall", picked an opposite word, which ended up being "carrot" and told a story about how he loves carrots more than bunnies, and his teeth are sharper... but you can buy teeth sharpeners at the mall, so bunnies are becoming better carrot eaters.
and so on...
This game was actually a really good ice breaker. I have known Martha for a long time, Will is a newer acquaintance of mine, Brad is a friend of my roommate's, and I had never met Jake before the brainstorm. It was the first time any of them had done a brainstorming session, so after explaining the process, the game helped them all to think a little more outside the box!
For the "How might we make sledding a game experience", I chose these ideas to be my favorite:
Football Sledding (Will)
It is what it sounds like: You have special goals that work for the hill, as well as sleds that help to control and steer your actions. Two teams go down the hill at a time, and pass the ball, and do what they can to make a goal for their team.
Racing Paths (Martha)
Ice paths for the sleds so you can race! Kind of like the Giant Yellow Slide at the State Fair, but on ice and snow! Prizes included, of course :)
Obstacle Course (Martha)
Just how it sounds: An obstacle course as you go down the hill!
And for the "How might we make sledding more fun" topic, I chose these to be my favorite:
Foam Pit Hill (Erin)
Imagine the biggest hill ever, and a giant foam pit at the end. Fun, fast, and safe!
Indoor Sledding (Erin)
Who wouldn't want to be able to sled all year round!?
Snowball Sled (Martha)
A snowball fight and sledding in one!
Jump Molds (Erin)
Kind of like the "snap together snow fort" idea from my last entry, but you get to build your own jumps, as big as you want, and know that they won't collapse!
Scaredy Sled (Martha)
A sled that stops if you're scared... genius for kids!
Crazy Luge (Martha)
Like a build your own slide, or a Hotwheel track! You get to build your own track and then ride down it!
Boat Sled (Will)
This one might be a little cold... unless you're sledding down a sand dune
Snap Together Structure (Erin)
And another from the last entry, we talked about making tunnels with this one to sled through as you go down the hill!
Overall, I think that the process went well. I was not expecting to get such a positive reaction and such involvement from people who haven't done something like this before, but after explaining the process and telling them they got to use markers (ha!) they were all in! I think I got some useful ideas from the group, and will definitely be looking back at the ones I didn't use in this post as well!