The human urge to play greater than the urge to fight

Playful Negotiation for Serious People

As a social business, Rational Games uses playful methods to teach negotiation in order to then support initiatives and individuals that make creative use of games and play to resolve conflict. We measure our success by the amount of time and money that we invest in curating innovative initiatives that make a clear contribution to this mission.

Mark Young at TEDxWHU

It was my privilege to tell our story at a recent TedX Conference. We truly believe that the urge to play is greater than the urge to fight. In the talk I explain how we are putting that into action.


October 2023

ZEN AND THE ART OF NEGOTIATION: Lessons from a Silent Retreat

This month, I had the opportunity to attend a five-day silent “Zen Leadership” retreat.It was a sometimes difficult but also very beautiful time, and one that left me profoundly strengthened and grateful for what I experienced.

September 2023

ARE YOU IN A RIGID ENVIRONMENT? A Tale of Transformation Through Play in Negotiation

In the world of negotiation, rigidity can often lead to stalemates, misunderstandings, and missed opportunities. But what if we could transform the negotiation process through the curiosity of play?

August 2023

IN SEARCH OF A STABLE EMPIRE: Napoleon and cooperative game theory

I took the occasion of a short vacation on Corsica this spring to tackle a fairly hefty biography of Napoleon. And the question occurs to me: viewed through the prism of cooperative game theory, was this an “Unstable Core”?

July 2023

THE DEBTS OF HISTORY: What do the Germans still owe Poland?

Rational Games was asked to attend a meeting working with the renewed Polish demand for WWII reparations from Germany.  How could we apply our collaborative “win-win” approach to negotiation to this lingering and very thorny problem?

June 2023

THE TURNING POINT: When Competition Turns to Cooperation

“Are we looking at the same problem?” The above question seems simple & is yet so powerful. Why?

May 2023

THE BEAUTY OF COMPETITION: Judging in the Warsaw Round

This month saw a highly enjoyable “gig” for me: participation in the team of jury “experts” at the Warsaw Negotiation Round (WNR).

Each month, we muse about some aspect of negotiation, gamification or philanthropy and its effect on our work and world. Comments welcome!

Read Full Blog


Dr. Mark Young, CEO of Rational Games Inc.


Our business is built around three elements: negotiation training as a service, games and play as a unique way to provide that service and philanthropy as the reason we do what we do.

Learn more about Rational Games

Negotiation Training

We offer professional coaching and training services that make use of practical and playful approaches to develop win-win negotiation skills through real-world problem-solving experiences.

Learn more


We seek strong partnerships with like-minded social businesses, foundations and private philanthropists who share our conflict-solving philosophy through the universal power of play and who can amplify our impact.

Learn more


We develop proprietary games, applications and theatrical experiences that reinforce our practice of win-win negotiation and show our clients that they can take fun seriously.

Learn more