Stimulating ideation in new teams with the mobile game Grapplenauts

Shaad Alaka, Max Lopes Cunha, Jop Vermeer, Nestor Z. Salamon, J. Timothy Balint, Rafael Bidarra
International Journal of Serious Games, Volume 6, Number 4, page 87--101 - dec 2019
Download the publication : Grapplenauts_paper.15pp.pdf [2.5Mo]  
Working in teams is a common approach to solving problems. However, new teams oftensuffer from a form of cold start, by which individual members are not yet comfortableexpressing their ideas. Previous work has shown that ideation can be stimulated by pro-moting a sense of psychological safety among team members and instilling an ambianceof openness, and that games are helpful at establishing such social bonds. However,most such games only partially target psychological safety or openness, and often relyon the expertise of a facilitator, who may be unavailable for many teams. The ubiq-uity of mobile platforms opens up many opportunities for overcoming such drawbacks.We developed the mobile game Grapplenauts, a novel serious game directly focused onpsychological safety and openness, that generates a beneficial atmosphere for ideationand does not require any facilitator. In Grapplenauts, team players have to graduallywork together towards a team-wide goal, first in pairs and then among pairs, whichhas shown to be quite successful in promoting communication and collaboration. Playtesting has shown that Grapplenauts was perceived as a fun, engaging and challeng-ing collaborative game. In addition, results of a preliminary user study are cautiouslyoptimistic about the success of the game in improving the perceived atmosphere withinnewly-formed teams.

Images and movies


BibTex references

@Article { ALVSBB19,
  author       = "Alaka, Shaad and Lopes Cunha, Max and Vermeer, Jop and Salamon, Nestor Z. and Balint, J. Timothy and Bidarra,
  title        = "Stimulating ideation in new teams with the mobile game Grapplenauts",
  journal      = "International Journal of Serious Games",
  number       = "4",
  volume       = "6",
  pages        = "87--101",
  month        = "dec",
  year         = "2019",
  note         = "",
  keywords     = "Ideation; Psychological safety; Openness; Team collaboration; Serious games",
  url          = ""

Other publications in the database

» Shaad Alaka
» Jop Vermeer
» Nestor Z. Salamon
» J. Timothy Balint
» Rafael Bidarra