Skip to content

How to get Big ideas by game-storming

August 10, 2012

How to get Big ideas by game-storming



You can create Big ideas by playing fun creative games and coming up with lots of inventive new ideas. I think I just invented a new word for this – Game-storming.

Now many creative minds play creative games and chances are another game-storming session somewhere in the world has also come up with the term game-storming based on the concept of brainstorming. (more on this at the end of post!)

One of the main rules of Brainstorming and Game-storming is don’t reject ideas at the start.  Suspend Judgement! The culling can come later in an assessment stage. So after I’ve written this piece I will check the internet to see if game-storming already exists and I’ll let you know.

In previous posts I’ve shared how I drive my son a long way across town from where we live to a school that better suits his learning needs.

We use the time to play fun creative games. We both love the time and he is really blossoming in his creativity.

How to get the Big idea.

Remember that great 80s movie Big with Tom Hanks? Hanks plays a  12-year-old boy  who makes a “wish” to be big and grown up. The kid becomes a 12-year-old in a mature persons body (Hanks).

The “kid” gets a job at a toy company because he understands what kids want from toys.

Orlando and I play this game where we see something along our drive and I ask him to be like the kid in Big and tell me his ideas on how to make things more appealing to kids. I call this game Kid-sultant.

(Once again don’t shut down the “new” word  Kidsultant – I’ll check at the end of this piece if it already exists)

Anyway here’s how our game-storming unfolded

We see a Hungry Jacks and I ask Orlando to come up with good ideas for a food place like Hungry Jacks. That would be a hit with kids especially boys. What name? What theme? What’s on the menu etc.?

I can see his brow furrow in concentration. He takes his kid-sultant role very seriously!

I make a bad Dad joke:

Q: You know what they call this place in France?”

A: Hungry Jacques! (I say with a French accent!)

Inspired by the sound of the Hungry Jacques, Orlando has his Eureka moment.

His name for the new food chain: Hungry Sharks!

His rationale: Because kids love sharks. Sharks are cool.

(Remember, Hungry Sharks may already exist – don’t shut down the idea – let’s see where it takes us!)

I just keep saying “What else?” to keep the ideas flowing.

Orlando’s other ideas:

  • the sign is a big surfboard sign with a big shark bite taken out of it
  • you could have those” cookie cutter things” shaped like surfboards and make surfboard-shaped potato scallops  or patties and kids could take bites out of them like they are hungry sharks
  • cool surf guitar music and Hawaiian music
  • the places can be “at beach locations” (his words!) and they look like a grass shack
  • people can win holidays to Hawaii

I think he’s “inspired” by Sponge Bob Square Pants – but that’s cool. I don’t shut him down. We keep going.


“Who would be your customers?”  I ask


Phil and Luke from Modern family!

Surfers, skateboarders, awesome kids and their cool, idiot-friend dads (another Modern Family Phil Dunphy reference – we both love that show!)

No girls allowed! (I don’t know about the legalities of that one but don’t shut him down) Remember  – we’re talking about what an 8-year-old boy would like in a fast-food restaurant chain!

Modern Family – Phil and Luke father-son bonding
They would be potential Hungry Shark target market!

P.S. I do realise Phil and Luke  are fictional characters – but they are very real to my son!

What other things can we have on the menu? I ask


Shocktopus!  Orlando beams with a wide-eyed intensity.


“It’s octopus that’s so spicy it shocks your taste buds!”


Mmmm…I think Orlando has been “inspired” by the movie “Sharktopus”  (a Phil Dunphy favourite)– but that leads him to another  great idea.

“And Dad, we could make our own movieShocktopus  – about a giant mutant Octopus that mates with an electric eel and can shock you!!”

“Thanks dad,” he says as we get to his school –“That’s been the best school drive ever!”


Lessons for you out of this “silliness”:

  1. So, if you need ideas for your business make it a fun and free game rather than a serious exercise with the pressure expectation. Don’t shutdown any ideas (at the start) – no matter how inappropriate they seem. “Bad ideas” can be foundations for “good ideas!” Encourage play and silliness. See who can come up with the wildest idea.
  2. If you have kids – play game-storming games with them to boost their confidence and their creativity – regularly.
  3. Watch Big – even if you’ve seen it before or if our kids are now 30 years old. It’s a classic!
  4. If you need a game-storming fun-cilitator contact meI’m not just a creativity facilitator – I’m a fun-cilitator. Better check if that fun-cillitator word play has been taken and get my trademark lawyers on to it pronto!
  5. If you need a kid-sutant for your next mutant creature movie or your next business venture that appeals to children call Orlando. The kid’s a Big thinker!

To contact the creative team of:

Tony and Orlando Biancotti – Brisbane, Australia

0409-821 186


twitter: @tonybiancotti

O.K. Now I’ve searched online to see if some of the above “New” ideas have been created before.

As I mentioned it is highly likely some over creative mind has come up with word play through gamestorming. Here;s what I found out – that I didn’t know when writing the post.

1. The term gamestorming was invented in Silicon Valley to describe freer creativity sessions to encourage new ideas. There’s even a video – some links here.


2. kidsultant is a retail services offering – I imagine consulting on kid product. Not sure if consultants are actual kids! A facilitator in San Francisco calls him/herself a fun-cillitator. They are sooo creative in California!

3.  There is a Hungry Shark restaurant in Goa. I’ll have to get advice from my trademark and patent attorneys – but I think you can have same name if you operate in a different territory if name is not protected there.

4, Shocktopus is not only a game – it is the name of a Canadian band. Once again, I will do a future post on creative names and protection restrictions.  I think the same name is O.K. of it is for a different type of offering (e.g. spicy Octopus meal/Mutant Creature Movie vs. Rock band name!)

My initial, off the top of my head thoughts about trademark protection do not represent legal advice! I am not trademark expert. 

As you can see the object of the creative gameplay is to encourage the love of and the “process” of creativity – riffing on ideas, putting unusual things together to create new stuff. It’s to build the confidence of kids AND people in the business world too. People are more creative than they think! Making creativity a game can loosen up and free their creativity.

I think I’ve created a new term – Free-ativity. Better check if that term exists already !

Gamestorming had already been created – but what about Free-ativity?

The important thing is my son thinks he is very creative – and that confidence is such an important element.

To paraphrase a Phil line from Modern Family – in the iPad/birthday episode he recalls a special day – “that was when I knew I was funny”. Even Phil he is not funny – he believes he is and this belief and confidence encourages him to be so inventive in creating “new stuff” and word play.

The “Shocktopus” day was when my son Orlando knew he was creative!


From → Uncategorized

One Comment
  1. Reblogged this on I Wanna Be Creative! and commented:

    An earlier post. My boy is BIGger than when this was written. Still a BIG fan of BIG and Hanks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: