The Mindsetter Game© by Gesa Doringer
Published by Gesa Doringer, price €250-500 depending on size, contact and ordering: https://listo-amsterdam.com
In a world inundated with self-improvement resources and professional development tools, the Mindsetter Game stands out as a remarkable innovation. The game is a refreshingly interactive and engaging experience that blends the principles of solution-focused therapy with gamification, resulting in an innovative and powerful tool that could be used in a range of ways - for personal reflection, as a learning experience, and for personal/professional development.
As an educator who has explored the use of many methods of professional and personal growth, I can confidently say that this game offers a unique and highly effective approach to developing insight, reflecting on practice, and achieving goals in a group setting. For this particular review, I considered the applicability of the game to a higher education setting (educating pre-registration occupational therapists) as well as reflecting on its wider potential.
The game was developed by Gesa Doringer, a solution focused practitioner and occupational therapist, with the support of Harriet Van Asperen, who coached Gesa through the design process. The game is available in two versions (first and second), and three languages. I tried out the first version, which was developed specifically for training, and can be used in group and team settings. The game comes in its own sturdy carrying tube (which I appreciated as I needed to carry it across campus!). Also included are a wipeable soft “board” which can be laid out on the floor or on a large table, with markers, dice and an easy to navigate set of instructions for the facilitator.
To play, 4 teams of players can be allocated to one of the 4 different quadrants to begin, and each quadrant is colour coded. The four quadrants generally relate to four of the basic principles of the solution focused approach:
Define their best hopes (Quadrant 1)
Become aware of what’s already working (Quadrant 2)
Re-tune their behaviour (Quadrant 3)
Identify helpers and resources (Quadrant 4).
Colour coded markers and dice are included. Players roll the dice, and move through the game, with each roll of the dice resulting in a card to draw which results in a prompt to discuss or complete. Answers or key points of discussion can be recorded in each players vision board in the quadrant of the corresponding colour. The game takes about 45 minutes to an hour to play fully; I only had about 30 minutes in my trial and it still worked fine although we limited some quadrants (the instructions told me that this was fine to do). Some time for summary and group reflection is recommended afterwards, with prompt questions, although this could also be done via an online means of capture.
Here are some of the key aspects that, in my view, make this game so effective:
The game is designed to be both fun and thought-provoking, providing a safe space where reflection, new ideas, hopes, and self-belief can grow. The interactive format keeps players actively engaged and motivated throughout their reflective journey. It effectively combines the seriousness of reflection and personal/professional development with the enjoyment of gameplay – a particular strength in a teaching and learning environment.
Drawing from the principles of solution-focused therapy, the game encourages players to focus on strengths and resources to find practical solutions to challenges. This approach fosters a positive mindset and encourages individuals to take or reclaim control of their own journeys. This is applicable to a range of contexts, such as a person’s personal life journey, their journey through education into a professional career, and their journey in the workplace, or with a specific project group or team.
Collaboration, Community and Peer Support
The game provides real-time reflection, feedback and constructive suggestions, guiding players towards making incremental progress, using collaboration and peer support. This is invaluable in helping players understand their experiences, generate hope, fresh perspectives and ideas they can apply to all aspects of their life, and build belief and confidence in action. Players connect, share experiences, and provide support to one another. This sense of community and belonging adds an extra layer of motivation and encouragement. In the kind of education setting I am in; this game would work very well in an inter-professional context.
The Mindsetter Game© can be tailored to a range of settings, goals and needs, it has wide applicability. For the purposes of my review, I considered it as a practice placement debriefing tool. It would also make an excellent team “awayday” activity. Its versatility is a testament to its adaptability for a wide range of users, and how the game is played can also be adapted – for example, just one quadrant can be focused on, rather than all four, as I did in my trial of it.
The game’s aesthetics are visually pleasing, and it is intuitive, making the process of playing the game a delightful experience.
My only criticism in that I wanted more space for the vision boards! – but this was easily overcome by using whiteboards, or an online tool to record notes could be used.
In conclusion, the Mindsetter Game is a remarkable solution focused tool for personal and professional development. It successfully combines the principles of solution-focused therapy with gamification to create an engaging and effective platform. This game has the potential to transform the way groups, individuals and communities approach reflection, learning, and development. I highly recommend the Mindsetter Game© to anyone seeking and working with the development of meaningful and lasting personal and professional growth, whether that be in a clinical practice, workplace or education setting.
Option 1 60cm square gameboard, size M (recommended for desk-based gaming) Euro 250.00, excluding shipping costs
Option 2 120 cm square gameboard, size L (recommended for stand-up gaming) Euro 350.00, excluding shipping costs
Option 3 180 cm square gameboard, size XL (recommended for stand-up gaming) Euro 500.00, excluding shipping costs