Datopolis, the ODI board game goes virtual

Tue Nov 10, 2020
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We are proud to release the online version of our Datapolis board game, completely free, for everyone to play.

In addition we are launching a competition to win a free guided session for your organisation. All you have to do is create a new card for the game. Submissions might even get included in future versions of the online game!

Playing games is a great way of bringing people of all ages together to understand how complex systems work. We've found Datopolis to be a light-hearted way of helping people understand the importance of open data and a robust data infrastructure. By bringing Datopolis online, we hope that more people around the world can enjoy the game and take lessons from playing it into real world scenarios. This year, we have experienced a global pandemic, fractured political alliances and stubbornly persistent inequalities, so it has never been more relevant to understand how collaboration around data can help us tackle these global challenges.

Why a board game?

As most of the northern hemisphere battles with Covid-19 and much of Europe goes back into lockdown, what better way to occupy those long winter nights than with board games? 

In 2015, the ODI launched Datopolis, a board game about building things – services, websites, devices, apps, research – using closed and open data. The game looks stunning and players from around the world have enjoyed getting together to play. 

One of the limiting factors has always been affordability of the physical game. Even if affordability is not a factor, those you are locked down with might not be into data as much as you (how dare they!). So we decided to do something about both and put the game online for everyone to play, completely free. 

The objective of the game is to save the town of Sheridan, which is gradually declining as shops close, teachers quit, hedgehogs go extinct and pollution rises. The tools players contribute to making Sheridan a healthier, wealthier, happier place to live. 

Datopolis is not just a fun game to play, it is also educational. Using a board game is a fantastic way to engage teams around the value of data. The different scenarios in the game challenge players to think carefully about data ecosystems and how every individual decision can affect the health of an ecosystem, be this a town or a business. 

The ODI team has also used Datopolis to help businesses like Rolls-Royce and Roche to develop data literacy, stimulate debate and get people excited about data skills programmes.

If you would like to experience Datopolis, you can now play online free, all the details are available via our dedicated Datopolis website. 

Win a free guided Datapolis session for your organisation

We are looking for suggestions for new tool cards we can add to the game! 

Datopolis tool cards

The best suggestions will win a free two hour guided Datapolis session with one of our team. During the session we will set up a number of scenarios to explore the value of data and explore the different decisions that affect the overall health of a data ecosystem, all in a board game. 

To enter the competition, please click here (entries close 15th Jan 2021).

Book your own guided Datapolis session

Not feeling creative today or simply can’t wait. Get in touch with the team below and we’ll sort out a session for your team. Let’s face it, an online board game is probably better than all those zoom quizzes you are still having!