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Gamestorming: Dot Voting

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Posted Aug 02 2010 07:56 AM

The following is one of the 83 different games included in the book Gamestorming. The authors contend that an embrace and understanding of game mechanics can yield benefits in the work environment.
Object of Play

In any good brainstorming session, there will come a time when there are too many good ideas, too many concepts, and too many possibilities to proceed. When this time has come, dot voting is one of the simplest ways to prioritize and converge upon an agreed solution.

Number of Players

At least 3 participants; in larger groups, tallying votes will be more time-consuming

Duration of Play


How to Play

First, the group needs a set of things to vote on! Tis may be something they have just developed, such as a wall of sticky notes, or it may be a fip-chart list that captures the ideas in one place. Ask the group to cast their votes by placing a dot next to the items they feel the most strongly about. They may use stickers or markers to do this. As a rule of thumb, giving each participant five votes to cast works well.

Attached Image

Participants cast their votes all at once and they may vote more than once for a single item if they feel strongly about it. Once all the votes are cast, tally them, and if necessary make a list of the items by their new rank.

This prioritized list becomes the subject of discussion and decision making. In some cases, it may be useful to reflect on ideas that didn’t receive votes to verify that they haven’t been left behind without cause.


This technique is used to collaboratively prioritize any set of items. It could be used to hone a list of features, to agree on discussion topics, or to choose among strategies and concepts. Giving participants fve votes is enough to be meaningful while still asking for individual prioritization; however, this is not a hard rule.

The original source of the Dot Voting game is unknown.


Learn more about this topic from Gamestorming.

Great things don't happen in a vacuum. But creating an environment for creative thinking and innovation can be a daunting challenge. How can you make it happen at your company? The answer may surprise you: gamestorming. This book includes more than 80 games to help you break down barriers, communicate better, and generate new ideas, insights, and strategies. This unique collection of games encourages engagement and creativity while bringing more structure and clarity to the workplace.

See what you'll learn

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