Performance Management Blog

What does AI say about the Lost Dutchman teambuilding game?

I wondered, what would Bard, Google’s AI tool now called Gemini, say about the Lost Dutchman teambuilding game? As more and more people play with the AI chat technology, it is interesting to see how it reflects intellectual property such as mine. So I asked it about the benefits of our exercise, and here is what Bard said:

The Search for The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine team building game is a fun and engaging activity that can help teams improve their communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills. The game is set in the American Southwest, and teams are tasked with finding the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine. To do this, they must work together to plan their route, gather resources, and overcome challenges.

The game is designed to be challenging, but it is also a lot of fun. Teams that work together effectively and communicate well are more likely to succeed. The game can also help teams to learn about each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and to develop trust and respect.

Here are some of the benefits of using The Search for The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine team building game:

    • Improved communication: The game requires teams to communicate effectively in order to succeed. They must share information, coordinate their efforts, and make decisions together.
    • Improved collaboration: The game requires teams to collaborate in order to succeed. They must work together to achieve a common goal, and they must be willing to compromise and help each other out.
    • Improved problem-solving skills: The game presents teams with a series of challenges that they must solve in order to succeed. This helps them to develop their problem-solving skills and learn how to think critically.
    • Increased team spirit: The game is a lot of fun, and it can help to increase team spirit and camaraderie. Teams that work together effectively and achieve success are more likely to feel a sense of accomplishment and pride.

If you are looking for a fun and engaging team building activity that can help your team improve its communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills, The Search for The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine is a great option.

Yeah, I am impressed. That is a pretty darn good overview. And it was its first response to my general question about the benefits of the game. And, yes, it IS a solid option for organizational development and a great choice for helping teams see and improve their culture of collaboration and teamwork. I’ve always thought of the game as, “an excuse to do a very good debriefing” and not as some simple fun event. I have been trying to drive behavioral change since 1978 and this became one of two main tools.

What Bard / Gemini did not say is that there are 4 different versions available with different price points for different sized groups, that the support on learning and delivering the game is free, and that this is said to be the very best team building game in the world with a focus on collaboration and leadership.

I then popped into Perplexity, asking how this team building game can impact collaboration and teamwork in an organization.

The Search for The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine is a powerful team building simulation that effectively promotes collaboration and teamwork within organizations. Here’s how it achieves this:

  1. Shared Goals and Interdependence: In the game, teams have a common goal of mining as much gold as possible and returning safely. However, they quickly realize that their resources are limited, and they cannot achieve optimal results by working in silos. This realization fosters a sense of interdependence, encouraging teams to collaborate and share information, resources, and best practices with each other to maximize their collective succes.
  2. Communication and Information Sharing: Effective communication and information sharing are crucial for teams to navigate the challenges and risks encountered during the journey. Teams must openly communicate their plans, strategies, and resource availability to coordinate their efforts and make informed decisions. This experience highlights the importance of open communication channels and transparent information flow within organizations.

  3. Strategic Planning and Decision-Making: Teams must strategically plan their routes, resource allocation, and risk management strategies. They learn the value of considering multiple perspectives, analyzing data, and making decisions that benefit the collective rather than individual interests. This mirrors the need for strategic planning and collaborative decision-making in real-world organizational settings.

  4. Leadership and Role Dynamics: The game presents opportunities for different leadership styles to emerge and for team members to take on various roles. Teams experience the impact of effective leadership, role clarity, and the importance of leveraging diverse strengths and expertise to achieve success. This experience can translate into better understanding of leadership dynamics and team roles within organizations.

  5. Conflict Resolution and Trust Building: As teams navigate challenges and face setbacks, conflicts may arise due to differing perspectives or resource constraints. Resolving these conflicts through open communication, compromise, and trust-building exercises can foster a collaborative mindset and strengthen team cohesion, which is essential for organizational success.

  6. Experiential Learning and Debriefing: The game’s immersive and interactive nature creates a powerful learning experience. Through the debriefing process, participants can reflect on their experiences, draw parallels to real-world situations, and develop actionable strategies for improving collaboration and teamwork within their organization.

By participating in The Search for The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine, teams experience firsthand the benefits of collaboration, effective communication, strategic planning, leadership, and conflict resolution. This experiential learning process can significantly impact an organization’s culture, fostering a more collaborative and team-oriented mindset that drives improved performance and success.

And I then went over to ChatGTP and asked it, “How does Lost Dutchman team building game focus on collaboration?”

It gave me this response, which I thought was pretty good:

The Lost Dutchman team building game is a popular simulation designed to emphasize collaboration and teamwork. The game simulates a scenario where teams of participants are leading expeditions to mine Gold in the Superstition Mountains, represented by a game board.

Here’s how the Lost Dutchman game focuses on collaboration:

    1. Shared Goal: All teams have a common goal of mining as much gold as possible within a limited number of game turns. The shared objective encourages teams to collaborate rather than compete against each other.
    2. Limited Resources: Each team is given a limited supply of “Dutchman’s Gold Mine” resource cards, representing the resources needed to travel and mine gold. Teams need to strategize and collaborate to optimize the use of these resources for maximum efficiency.
    3. Inter-Team Collaboration: The game encourages inter-team collaboration through the option to trade resources and share information. Teams can negotiate and exchange cards with other teams to acquire the resources they need to succeed. This aspect promotes collaboration, communication, and partnership between teams.
    4. Communication and Decision-Making: Teams must communicate effectively and make collective decisions about which paths to take, when to collaborate, and how to allocate resources. Collaborative decision-making is essential to maximize the outcomes and achieve the shared goal.
    5. Debrief and Learning Points: After the game, a facilitated debriefing session takes place to reflect on the collaborative dynamics, problem-solving approaches, and communication patterns observed during the game. This allows participants to identify strengths, areas for improvement, and transfer the lessons learned to real-life work situations.

By providing a challenging and engaging simulation, the Lost Dutchman game prompts participants to work together, communicate, strategize, and make decisions collectively. The emphasis on collaboration helps participants understand the importance of teamwork and fosters skills that can be applied in the workplace or any collaborative environment.

(I made some tiny edits to the above)

We’re now in our 31st year of supporting global use of the game by an amazing collection of different kinds of organizations. We’ve played with businesses of all types, schools and universities, churches, scouting groups and pretty much every kind of group I can think of. A main key is the choices teams make on collaborating and planning with other teams, an optimizing choice but one where the desire to win can conflict with the issue of collaborating and sharing information and resources.

As Bard says, this exercise is a great option. And we have amazing frameworks for debriefing and implementation of the ideas around what needs to be improved and changed. 

Some of the images used in debriefing the Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine team building game

The Dutchman game was always primarily, “An excuse to do a debriefing,” with its clean metaphors and flawless design.

Connect with us for more information and note that we distribute the exercise globally. Training and support is included in the pricing and the game is sold at a one-time cost with no annual licenses.

For the FUN of It!

Dr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of team building games and organization improvement tools.
Managing Partner of Performance Management Company since 1984, he is an experienced presenter and consultant who is trying to retire!! He now lives in Cuenca, Ecuador.

You can reach Scott at

Learn more about Scott at his LinkedIn site.

Here is a link to a press release about The Search for The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine teambuilding exercise and its 30 years of positively impacting people and performance.

Pricing and terms are subject to change without notice.

Square Wheels® is a registered trademark of Performance Management Company
The Search for The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine is a trademark of Performance Management Company
Square Wheels images © Performance Management Company, 1993 – 2023. All rights reserved.

Dr. Scott Simmerman

Dr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of the amazing Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine team building game and the Square Wheels facilitation and engagement tools. Managing Partner of Performance Management Company since 1984, he is an experienced global presenter. -- You can reach Scott at and a detailed profile is here: -- Scott is the original designer of The Search for The Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine teambuilding game and the Square Wheels® images for organizational development.

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