The Problem Solution Problem (PSP, also known as PS³) game, developed by Frederick van Amstel and Guilherme Silveira is designed to explore and address collective creativity within the context of problem-solving.

PSP is a simple game that quickly explores the design space for a particular project. It starts by asking for problem statements written on sticky notes. Then, problems are exchanged and the competing teams need to solve the problems. The solutions go back to the first team, which needs to find problems for these solutions. The sequence goes on until the time is over. This game makes it clear that no solution is final and no problem is unsolvable.

**Setup and Introduction:**

- The moderator initiates an open discussion to identify which activity, space or body the participants will target during the game
- Participants are divided into teams of two to four, each one around one side of a table. Teams should be diverse, with members from different backgrounds and areas of expertise.
- Each team will compete against another team
- Two colors of sticky notes are needed: one for problems and another for solutions

The gist of the Participatory Design Game (PSP) revolves around the iterative exchange of problems and solutions between teams. The core idea is to create a dynamic interaction where participants identify problems, propose solutions, and then critically evaluate those solutions by finding new problems. This back-and-forth exchange helps participants uncover the underlying contradictions in their collective activities, fostering a deeper understanding of the challenges they face.

**First Round (7 minutes):**

- Each team identifies and writes down a set number of problems on separate sticky notes. Only one problem per sticky note is allowed.
- The moderator keeps track of time using a chronometer, and an alarm sounds when time is up.
- The problems are lined up in a row on the table.

**Second Round (5 minutes):**

- Teams change their places on the table to quickly exchange their sets of problems with the opposing team.
- Each team now proposes solutions to the problems they received, attaching these solutions on differently colored sticky notes, effectively creating a column for each problem.
- A problem without a solution is abandoned.

**Third Round (4 minutes):**

- The teams change places and exchange problems and solutions once again.
- This time, they must identify potential problems with the solutions proposed by the other team. Only one problem per solution is allowed. Problems should be aligned within the growing column.
- A solution without a problem is abandoned.

**Subsequent Rounds (3, 2, 1 minutes):**

- The exchange continues, with each team building on the previous round’s inputs. They alternate between identifying problems and proposing solutions until they arrive at three pairs of problems and solutions per stream by the end of the sixth round.

**Discussion:**

- Players should now discuss and make sense of the design space they have produced.
- They should try to find the contradictions behind the longest problem-solution columns.
- Making a physical oxymoron or a diagram may support this discussion.
- At the last step, the contradiction is communicated to other teams

The game is designed not to solve problems definitively but to provoke thought and raise awareness of the underlying contradictions within a collective activity, ultimately fostering a more conscious and collaborative approach to creativity and change.

PSP is useful to quickly map the design space and then analyze it later. The game can be played online using digital whiteboards.

**References**

van Amstel, F.M.C; Silveira, G.S; Hartmann, T. (2011) A Problem-Solving Game for Collective Creativity. Annual INSCOPE-Conference, Enschede – Netherlands. Available at: https://fredvanamstel.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/problem_solving_creativity_inscope.pdf