Recorded in the histories of Herodotus, the Ancient Kingdom of Lydia faced a famine. To survive this hardship King Atys declared they would only eat eat every other day. To cope with the hunger, the Lydians would play games on days without food. Games would evolve over centuries, eventually becoming the digital games we play today. In "Role We Play" students will explore the meaning behind different game mechanics, and leverage this knowledge to provide gamified experiences that serve as more than escapism.
Games allow players to step into new roles, where players act and think according to a series of well-defined rules. At their core, games are abstractions of the larger systems at play in our society, and gamifying these difficult concepts can be a useful tool towards understanding our world.
In this studio students will tackle game design as a tool to study the rules built into our social systems (lawmaking, balance of power, elections). They will use programming to simulate or gamify these systems. Sid Meier called games "a series of interesting choices”; the games built in this studio will task players with assuming new roles, seeking to understand and explain these choices from different perspectives.
2.0 - Open Innovation / Continuation of Projects
Revisit the research period of the game development phase. Connect the project to some of the real-world topics you identified by creating a webpage that acts as a guide, blog or resource for your audience. The goal of your updated project should be to create and test the potential for real world impact or changes in behavior from those who play your games.