The Game

The Game is an activity for 8 or more participants:

  • Ask everyone to each randomly select 2 individuals – person A and person B.
  • Now ask the participants to move so that they always keep B in between themselves and A – so that B is their protector from A.

A ---- B ---- 😎

  • Everyone in the room will mill about in a seemingly random fashion and will soon begin to ask why they are doing this. Now tell them to stop, and that they are now the protector, so tell them to move so that they keep themselves in between A and B.

A ---- 😎 ---- B

The results are striking. Almost instantaneously the whole room will implode on itself with everyone clustering together in a tight knot.

Icosystem uses The Game to illustrate the following points:

  • Simple rules of individual behavior can lead to surprisingly coherent system level results.
  • Small changes in rules or in the way they are applied can have significant impact on the aggregate results.
  • Intuition can be a poor guide to predicting the behavior of a complex system.
  • Simulation is a powerful tool for harnessing the dynamics of complex systems.

By using a simple agent-based model in which each person is modeled as an autonomous agent following the rules, one can actually predict the emergent collective behavior.

Download our Demo to play with the game simulator and more.


Icosystem Corporation • 222 Third Street, Suite 0142, Cambridge, MA 02142 • Voice: (617) 520 1000

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