The Attention Game (1/3)

Title: Theme: Target Audience Format
The Attention Game (pt 1) Recognising My DI 10yrs + Game


Learning outcomes
  • How headlines grab attention
  • Whether matching content to role is important
  • Mixed mode (synchronous/asynchronous) communications (including turn taking)
Based on “Attention Economy: The Game”, this simple card game focusses on obtaining the attention of readers. There are variations covered below, but the basic format is that players are given a set of laminated cards, some of which have pre-written ‘blog post titles’ (these can also be considered to be Facebook status messages, or ‘Tweets’ on Twitter).
With 5 players and 5 turns, the game takes about 20 minutes in its basic form.
Resource links:
Sample cards Sample cards
Variant 2 – Roleplaying Variant 3 – Reflection
The game is played in turns.  Each player, in turn, selects one of their headline cards to play, and lays it on the table in front of them (keep them separate from each other).  If desired, players can write their own headline (using a dry marker pen so the cards are re-usable) or adds to the existing headline.  Once all the players have played a headline card, each player votes for the headline which has grabbed their attention the most – it is probably best if they cannot vote for themselves! Keep a tally on a spare blank card for each of the players.  In this form of the game there should be as many rounds as there are players – each round, a different player plays their choice of card first. It is easiest to do this by starting each new round with the next person round the table from the last starting player.  Add up the points each player has ‘earned’ and then award prizes for those who got most attention.

Questions to ask about the experience:

  • What was most succesful in grabbing your attention?
  • If you didn’t get much attention, how did that make you feel?
  • If someone else was getting attention, were you more likely to choose more extreme headlines?
  • What do you feel your choice of headlines says about you?
  • Describe your impression of the other players, based on their headlines
There is a tendency for people to compete for attention, which can result in fairly high risk strategies in terms of headline wordings. Sometimes people ‘grab’ attention by building on other peoples’ previous posts.