It has been no secret that I am a nerd. One place my inner nerd particularly surfaces is my love of board games. From your most basic game of Scrabble, in depth games of Catan, or diving deep into a euro-game with an encyclopedia sized rulebook, I am ready to go. There is a lot to learn here though and tackling the voluminous rulebook to get going can be intimidating. Ways that good rulebooks manage this learning curve have many similarities to the challenge of getting your employees, or customers, to actually read the privacy policies you just spent 50 or more hours writing.
Most people will at least know that Dungeons and Dragons or tabletop games of its kind exist. Often touted as bastions of complexity and requiring years to understand, these games usually don’t have a board or pieces, but instead a rulebook with all the information needed to play. I have been playing such a game that uses the 2nd edition Pathfinder system for a few years. A 638-page rulebook describes the basic information and core set of rules to play. What makes this manageable is that most players will never need to read the whole thing because it is broken into smaller, easier to manage parts.
There are certainly more tricks to this. Gaming communities are excellent at both analyzing rules as well as at discussing and optimizing how to describe them. Using these techniques to remove obstacles for individuals enables better knowledge of what policies say, or at least finding the information they need quickly. This will further ease development and acceptance of the privacy program. If everyone can understand the rules, then you can get informed, effective feedback, and begin to build a strong program from there.
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