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30 Aug 2017

Bright Ideas: a new serious game

Bright Ideas, a new serious game by Grenoble Ecole de Management

A mysterious black box lies against a wall across the lobby at Grenoble Ecole de Management. Even from this distance, one can see rainbow colors blinking from the top of it. Upon closer inspec-tion, one sees knobs with an arrow suggesting they can be turned.

Once rotated, the screen greets the player with a labyrinth of LEDs to navigate through. Intrigued, the player continues turning the knobs to find that they control the position through the maze… this is how a first encounter with “Bright Ideas,” a new machine created by Grenoble Ecole de Management (GEM), begins.

The aim is to connect people within the GEM community and cultivate an environment of innovation, imagination, exploration upon the first step into GEM’s buildings.

“Bright Ideas exemplifies the values of GEM. It’s innovative, creative, imaginative, and tech-nologically sophisticated, like all the initiatives that GEM strives to support and foster within its students and over arching community.

When the player first sees it, they see an odd black box. It piques their interest and encourages them to think outside of it.” explains Hélène Michel, Professor in Innovation Management and in charge of the serious games strategy.

The game begins with a blinking LED in the top corner of a maze…

There are no instructions or helpful hints. The player must explore the machine to learn how its mechanisms work and how to win, all to hopefully open the mysterious locked door on the front of the box.

Using the knobs, the player can navigate through the maze—the game works much like a wooden labyrinth game, except instead of a ball, walls, and holes, there are LEDs of different colors, signifying the different elements.

The rules seem simple, but the player might find, upon exploration and creativity, that they can be bent or broken—a concept meant to exemplify the values of GEM.

Once the player traverses the labyrinth and makes it to the other corner, the door unlocks to reveal stacks of one page stories detailing an innovative technology idea written by a GEM student.

Practical information

  • 35x35x35 cm box
  • Plugs into a wall
  • Stories available in English and French

The game was developed by Grenoble Ecole de Management in collaboration with an international team of students from GEM, MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology – USA, part of the MIT France Programme), ISD Rubika, and Pôle Supérieur de Design.

Grenoble Ecole de Management designs and has used serious games as part of its initial and executive education programmes.

These simulation games, which serve both a vocational and an educational purpose, allow students and participants to master various soft skills such as how to detect and adapt to different types of customer behavior.

Vincent Diaz

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