Description Updated
Dec 09, 2021

DemGames represents variety of open-source tools that NDI utilizes to enable program and partners to share basic lessons in an entertaining way with their audiences. NDI hosts games built using Twine for partners through its DemCloud cloud-hosting service.


Please contact us for additional use cases, approximate cost, timeline for implementation and to brainstorm game ideas.

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Games for good can build behaviors and reinforce concepts that lead to widespread social impact. DemGames leverages open source game development tools, including Twine and the TTX Facilitators App (still in Beta), to give program implementers an innovative way to reinforce absorption and retention of knowledge.

Games typically fall into three categories:

  • Narrative Games - Online games that use narrative storytelling to guide players through fun fictitious build-your-own-adventure style scenarios.
  • Tabletop Exercises - Discussion-based sessions in which players are grouped into teams, assigned roles in a fictitious scenario, and called on to to solve a series of rapid-fire challenges.
  • Practice Quizzes - Online practices quizzes give players a chance to review lessons learned from participation programs.

DemGame for Adaptive Leadership

NDI's Gender, Women and Democracy and DemTech teams collaborated on a game, called Leading Change, about making choices, changing circumstances, and leading through change. As players navigate decisions throughout the game, they accrue points and learn how to cultivate alliances, build accountability, generate buy-in, adapt to challenges, and create accessible community solutions.

DemGame for Political Campaign Cybersecurity Simulation

The Cybersecurity Simulation Exercise (CyberSim) is an in-person, hands-on role-playing game designed to simulate risks for a political party in a campaign environment. Designed to pair with the Cybersecurity Campaigns Playbook, the CyberSim is built off of Harvard Belfer Center's table-top exercise developed originally for state and local election officials. The goal of the CyberSim is to facilitate buy-in for and implementation of better security practices by helping political campaigns assess their own readiness and experience the potential consequences of unmitigated risks.

The CyberSim is broken down into three core segments: preparation, simulation, and an after action review. During the preparation phase, participants are introduced to a fictional (but realistic) game-play environment, their roles, and the rules of the game. They are also given an opportunity to select security-related mitigations from a limited budget, providing an opportunity to "secure their systems" to the best of their knowledge and ability before the simulation begins. The simulation itself runs for 75 minutes, during which time the participants have the ability to take actions to raise funds, boost support for their candidate and, most importantly, respond to events that occur that may negatively impact their campaign's success. These events are meant to test the readiness, awareness and skills of the participants related to information security best practices. The simulation is designed to mirror the busyness and intensity of a typical campaign environment. The after action review is in many ways the most critical element of the CyberSim exercise. During this segment, CyberSim leaders and participants review what happened during the simulation, what events lead to which problems during the simulation, and what actions the participants took (or should have taken) to prevent security incidents from occurring. These lessons are closely aligned with the best practices presented in the Cybersecurity Campaigns Playbook, making the CyberSim an ideal opportunity to reinforce existing knowledge or introduce new best practices presented there.

The CyberSim requires at least four hours and a minimum of eight participants, in addition to two or three expert facilitators. Creating a space in which participants are comfortable talking openly about their expertise, knowledge gaps, and areas of strength and potential improvement are essential to an effective simulation and after action review. To this end, the CyberSim is designed to be run with a single party, campaign or aligned-coalition.