FAQ for Great Game concept as well as Great Game Chicago.

Got a question? Ask it at the Great Game Survey. We'll answer it here.

The Great Game is a better way of doing politics. It de-polarizes politics. Gets governments working again.

Fully realized, it does all this by making citizens and governments responsive and accountable to each other in all three communities — local, state and national — of which every American is a member.

1. What is the Great Game? And how will it restore functionality to America's existing political discourse system?

The Great Game constructive, outcome-oriented, issue-centered alternative to Americans existing (and broken) political media. It exists to make all members of any size community (including public officials) responsive and accountable to each other in shaping the community's best future. Fully realized, it gives all Americans an informed voice in shaping the futures of all three communities -- local, state and national -- of which every citizen is a member.

As an alternative political discourse system, FIXIT is designed to co-exist and complement America's existing, candidate- and election-centered political discourse system. This existing, money-driven system has lost credibility with Americans of all political persuasions. Its polarizing discourse is unresponsive to the voices of the American people. This two minute video shows how alternative FIXIT at once competes and cooperates with the existing political discourse system in ways that over restore it to health and functionality. (Sorry for birds in background; we're gonna remake this video.)

The chart below sums up the functions of the two systems.

2. What is the Great Game from a formal standpoint?

It's three things:

  1. The Great Game is a public-domain concept: a subgenre of Reality TV: Politically themed. Problem solving. And guess what: it's public domain. You are free to develop your own Great Game TV program.
  2. The Great Game is a proprietary treatment, owned by Chicago Civic Media, for a specific Great Game TV program (e.g. Great Game Game or America's Choice)
  3. The Great Game is a set of rules - Great Game rules - for governing Great Game programs. Copywritten Great Game rules are available for sale to producers of Great Game programs. Anyone can design rules for Great Game shows, and perhaps very good ones. Our Great Game rules have been improved by 20 years of research and pilot-testing.

3. Why say that ANYONE can produce their own Great Game program?

Why not? America urgently needs new, citizen-participatory, outcome-oriented uses of its print and electron media. And they should come from everywhere. We're just one source, we hope, of many. We envision the production of both terrific and terrible Great Game-like shows. But we don't think the terrible ones will last long. They won't get the good results that alone, over time, earn the support, respect and trust of citizens and governments. Why? Because they'll either be rigged from above or poorly produced.

The devil, they say, is in the details. The angel of the Great Game, we say, is in the details of its rules. We've designed them to ensure optimal outcomes for all members of a community of any size .

Remember: the Great Game stands or falls on its ability to generate viable, enduring solutions.

4. How should the Great Game be governed? Who should govern it?

Ah, now we get to the heart of the matter, to the hub of where things could go really wrong for the Great Game (and America). There's much to be said on this topic. For the time being, let's respond to this question in term of the three formal aspects of the Great Game outlined in Question 2, above:

    1. The Great Game as a public domain concept: by definition, it's not governable. Only specific instances of the Great Game are governable.
    2. The Great Game as a particular TV program: difficult to govern because host networks and producers will demand maximum control over what they produce. That's not to say that a governing board can't be creating to provide oversight for a specific program. When this happens, that program becomes governable.
    3. The Great Game as a set of rules IS governable. A small entity can make them, brand them, sell them, and update them to keep them current. The seven Guidelines list in our "Great Game" piece are key to the set of rules we're developing at Chicago Civic Media.

Great Game Governance is 100% Transparent. There's no curtain for anyone to hide behind.

5. It what sense is the Great Game scalable?

Did we say that it operates at local, state and national levels?

Scalable FIXIT is essentially a set of rules governing constructive, inclusive, community-wide civic (or political) discourse. These rules can govern FIXIT programming in any medium. Fully realized, the Great Game connects citizens and governments in all three communities - local, state and national - of which every American is a member. Just imagine: every city and every state with its own FIXIT discourse program(s) in place, and with all of them feeding into one or more national the Great Game systems.

6. What are the risks of producing the Great Game?

A pretty good set of them can be found in Question 7 of the Great Game survey about the Great Game's feasibility (the NAYsayer's Delight).

Let's be clear: the Great Game an experiment in self-government. Its roots are in "the great experiment of democracy" that Thomas Jefferson thought of as a test to discover "if men can govern themselves".

A related set of risks attending Great Game are those that attend any disruptive and transformative innovation.

  • Generally speaking, the Great Game stands or falls on its ability to produce measurable solutions that earn the support of citizens and governments.
  • The Great Game earns respect and trust of citizens, governments and news media only by continuously getting good results.
  • The risks are greatest at the outset. A breakdown during a Great Game first season could spell the end of the idea. Great Game rules must anticipate the following:
    • Lack of public interest, or interest coming from only one sector of the public
    • An irreconciliable clash or standoff between one group of citizens and another, or between citizens and a city government
    • Subversion of the Great Game process by an outside entity
    • A single remark during a Great Game telecast that offends the public, city government or a Great Game sponsor

7. How could FIXIT be the future of American political discourse?

First, consider the massive evidence of all but universal citizen dissatisfaction with America's existing, election-centered political discourse system. Outrage with it as it functions at all levels of government is the only issue that Americans of all political stripes agree on these days! So why not invent a better one?

Second, consider the enormous energy that's gone into trying to correct this broken system from the inside. They include campaign finance reform, taxpayer-funded elections, efforts to correct partisan gerrymandering, term limits, attempts reschedule elections from Tuesday to weekends or voting holidays and all kinds of get out the vote drives. The list goes on and on. Have these efforts, individually or collectively, succeeded in restoring public confidence in American political process? It seems not. By most accounts, political discourse continues to disintegrate apace, spreading division and dysfunction at all levels of government and pushing the nation increasingly in the direction of chaos, oligarchy or despotism.

Third, consider an untapped alternative. It's grounded, believe it or not, in the enormous market (for advertisers) that exists today for political discourse that will actually give Americans of all ages and backgrounds an informed voice in the government decisions that affect their lives. Consider the size of the market for politicfal discourse that actually gets governments working again at local, state and national levels.

Our Great Game Medium post is centered on Chicago, but it applies equally to any town, city, state or nation with a violence problem. It sketches out how major advertisers can tap this Market of the Whole of all members of a community who want an informed voice in the government decisions that affect their lives. This market is a market of all members of a community. It's the largest of all possible large markets and we submit the holy grail of advertising. The Trump/FIXIT piece shows producers how to attract these sponsors credibly and with integrity. More than that, it shows them how this large market can only be tapped effectively, in the long run, with programming that earns the respect and trust of all members of a community by getting good results.

Don't forget: the Great Game stands or falls on its ability to generate viable, enduring solutions.