SmartSellTM - The New Way to Sell Online

Sell Your Old Stuff for Cash. It's Easy & Free to List. Get Started Now.

Making Democracy Fun

Drawing on the tools of game design to fix democracy. Anyone who has ever been to a public hearing or community meeting would agree that participatory democracy can be boring. Hours of repetitive presentations, alternatingly alarmist or complacent, for or against, accompanied by constant heckling, often with no clear outcome or decision. Is this the best democracy can offer? In Making Democracy Fun, Josh Lerner offers a novel solution for the sad state of our deliberative democracy: the power of good game design. What if public meetings featured competition and collaboration (such as team challenges), clear rules (presented and modeled in multiple ways), measurable progress (such as scores and levels), and engaging sounds and visuals? These game mechanics would make meetings more effective and more enjoyable -- even fun. Lerner reports that institutions as diverse as the United Nations, the U.S. Army, and grassroots community groups are already using games and game-like processes to encourage participation. Drawing on more than a decade of practical experience and extensive research, he explains how games have been integrated into a variety of public programs in North and South America. He offers rich stories of game techniques in action, in children's councils, social service programs, and participatory budgeting and planning. With these real-world examples in mind, Lerner describes five kinds of games and twenty-six game mechanics that are especially relevant for democracy. He finds that when governments and organizations use games and design their programs to be more like games, public participation becomes more attractive, effective, and transparent. Game design can make democracy fun -- and make it work.
Product Details

Promotional Information

Fun is not a frill, but an essential ingredient for strong democracy. That's the convincingly argued premise of Josh Lerner's powerful new book, which uses a huge variety of cases and a compulsively readable style to show how public participation can be made gratifying, interesting, and enjoyable. Lerner shows how smart organizers and leaders are figuring out how we can move beyond dry, boring, unproductive public processes. -- Matt Leighninger, Executive Director, The Deliberative Democracy Consortium, and author of The Next Form of Democracy Oscar Wilde reportedly once said "the problem with socialism is that it takes up too many evenings." Josh Lerner's wonderful book takes seriously this quip and proposes solutions. The central argument is provocative and strikingly original: popular engagement in democracy can be increased and deepened by making the process of democracy fun. The book is filled with fascinating empirical discussions of the innovative use of games in grassroots democratic activity as well as insightful theoretical treatments of the dilemmas of democratic participation. It should be read by both activists and scholars interested in reinvigorating democratic life. -- Erik Olin Wright, Past President, American Sociological Association, and Vilas Distinguished Professor of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison Far from frivolous, Making Democracy Fun is an absolute must-have book for democracy advocates and public engagement practitioners. Josh Lerner, a pioneer in participatory budgeting in the United States, walks us through how to design participation like a game -- so that it's not only more enjoyable and engaging but also far more effective, transparent, outcome-oriented, and addicting than typical public meetings. -- Sandy Heierbacher, Director, National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation


About the Author

Josh Lerner is Executive Director of The Participatory Budgeting Project, a nonprofit organization in New York City that empowers communities to decide how to spend public money.

Ask a Question About this Product More...
Write your question below:
Look for similar items by category
How Fishpond Works
Fishpond works with suppliers all over the world to bring you a huge selection of products, really great prices, and delivery included on over 25 million products that we sell. We do our best every day to make Fishpond an awesome place for customers to shop and get what they want — all at the best prices online.
Webmasters, Bloggers & Website Owners
You can earn a 5% commission by selling Making Democracy Fun: How Game Design Can Empower Citizens and Transform Politics (Making Democracy Fun) on your website. It's easy to get started - we will give you example code. After you're set-up, your website can earn you money while you work, play or even sleep! You should start right now!
Authors / Publishers
Are you the Author or Publisher of a book? Or the manufacturer of one of the millions of products that we sell. You can improve sales and grow your revenue by submitting additional information on this title. The better the information we have about a product, the more we will sell!
Item ships from and is sold by, Inc.
Back to top