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  • Inspired by the 2006 protests in Chile, The Penguin March is an unpredictable board game that sets two players against each other as protesters and police, clashing over the Chilean education system. Since the 2006 protests, sometimes referred to as the March of the Penguins due to the color of the students’ uniforms, there have been many more education protests in Chile, mostly between 2011 and 2013, pushing for eliminating the costs of public schoolings, and for greater state involvement in the education system.  Outnumbered them three to one, police must use the resources at their disposal--including tear gas and water cannons--in order to defend themselves and suppress the protests. The game shows the volatility of the protest, with the police directing violence the protesters without warning.

    While outnumbered, the police have more power in that they can make arrests, throw tear gas, and set up barricades to slow the progress of protesters. The protesters must make their way through the police in order for them to get three of the five protest leaders to the other side of the board. The police and protesters are 3D printed, which allowed for individuating detail to make it seem as though the opponents are playing with real people, not just pieces that represent people. The game board is made of laser cut wood. The bases of the pieces were designed to wrap around the edge of the squares they stand on for more stability. The hope is that after playing the game, people will have a better understanding of the protests in Chile, and of the helplessness felt by the students stuck in the public education system.

  • Title the post “Brief” and post in “Writing”.

    The Brief should have a strong narrative that ties together the Why, How and What of your project through clear, cogent writing. Tell the story of how your idea was born, developed, and manifest.

    Create 1 post titled “The Brief” (v1 or v2 or final?) with text that includes the following 2 items, numbered:

    1. A 1-2 sentence project description for your transcript. This will serve as the basis of the Project Description that appears in your transcript. This description should not include the name of the project and should be written in the third person. On Thursday you and your teammates will add this under project settings.
      examples:
      Night Light Blankie: A child's sensory blanket that provides comfort and privacy in the high stress environment of the hospital using weight, textures, and light. The blanket transforms into a mini light up fort over a child’s head.
      Cocoon: a shroud that explores human spirituality and the concept of life after death through the use of repetitive religious iconography. Composed of over 300 pieces of laser cut balsa wood lined with space tape, the icons are arranged using a mathematical strange attractor.
    1. A 1-2 paragraph brief for your project based on the description below. This text will be edited by the NuVu writing coach. You will have the opportunity to revise this text before the final presentation. The primary purpose of The Brief is to explain, entice, and convince the reader that your project is amazing and important. Imagine your project on display in the Museum of Modern Art. The Brief is hanging on the wall next to your work. In 1-2 paragraphs, a viewer should understand what your project is, why it exists, and how you made it. More importantly, the viewer should be interested and care. You will draw them into your project through a compelling narrative.

      Things to think about:
      • The what is a clear statement of the thesis or problem+solution. Your project description for your transcript (#1 above) can be adapted for this purpose.
      • The why explains how your project changes the world. It is the reason your project exists – what social issue is it engaging, who is your project helping, how does the project change the world, and what important social, intellectual, or technical questions does it raise? The scope of the why can vary widely.
      • The how briefly explains what technical prowess, innovative methods, or cool materials you used in your solution.
      • Think of the reader - it is good to imagine that a college admissions officer AND a potential employer in the field of your design should both be able to understand and be excited by the project based on your writing.

    Write in the Third person in an explanatory fashion. Resist using I, WE, OUR, or YOU and focus on describing the work.

    Here is an example from Penelope the Pain-O-Monster:

    Pediatricians and other doctors find it challenging to collect accurate self reported information from children about their level of pain due to lack of communication skills, fear, anxiety, and discomfort. Traditional 1-10 pain scales do not fully address these issues, often leading to uncomfortable children and inaccurate symptom information. Penelope the Pain-O-Monster is a cute plush toy that uses integrated pressure sensors to allow children to express their source and level of pain through play.

    A previous project, The EmoOwl, helped children with autism to express themselves by translating motion into color. Penelope the Pain-O-Monster grew out of the desire to expand children’s health menagerie with a different stuffed animal, one that makes the pain charts patients use to express their pain more interactive and easier for a child to use. Because research has shown that playing with stuffed animals can take children’s mind off pain, an additional “Fun” mode was added to distract from pain and anxiety. The handcrafted stuffed animal uses force sensors in different body parts that light up from blue to red depending on how hard they are pushed to show the child’s pain level. The hope is that, as one of many future healthcare friends, Penelope can help sick children feel safer while providing more useful information to care providers.

  • Claw Control: A two-player board game that illustrates the challenges of funding a protest by having players compete for a successful campaign, as a commentary on the struggle between advocates for gun control and gun owners.

    Claw Control is a board game based on the competition for funding between protests and counter-protests, and is meant to be a metaphor for gun control campaigns. In the game, players can choose either a dog or a cat as their avatar. The dogs want to enact laws that force cats to be declawed, while the cats oppose this, arguing that claws are needed for self defense. Players take turns trying to raise money for their cause and trying to sabotage their opponents.

    The game has a black-and-white aesthetic in order to emphasize the polarization of current politics. One of the unique features of this game is the Velcro die. As players raise money, they can buy more tokens to attach to the die. When players are confident of their chances, they can roll the Velcro die, and if one of their tokens is facing upwards they win. To reinforce how things can unexpectedly go wrong in campaigns, the game is designed so that even when players are ahead, they are never assured of winning.

  • Designed to raise victim awareness, Din is a game in which the players are seated at a "Thanksgiving dinner" and someone brings up a protest or a protester who was killed. After a protest or victim card is turned over, “guest” players choose one of five adjective cards from their hand (e.g., lawful, brilliant, justified) and must use that adjective as they debate the  merits of the protest and victim. The host then awards the protest or victim card to the winner of the debate, who becomes the new host. The victim and protest cards include a faded photo of the victims or protest with a description and a laser-cut headline. By putting faces to names of victims, and including information about their lives and aspirations that is not common knowledge, Din aims to make sure the victims and their causes are never forgotten. Also, the hope is that  the Thanksgiving style format, will make players feel comfortable with their surroundings and be more open to talking to their families about the issues raised.

  • Claw Control is a board game based on the competition for funding between protests and counter-protests, and is meant to be a metaphor for gun control campaigns. In the game, players can choose either a dog or a cat as their avatar. The dogs want to enact laws that force cats to be declawed, while the cats oppose this, arguing that claws are needed for self defense. Players take turns trying to raise money for their cause and trying to sabotage their opponents.

    The game has a black-and-white aesthetic in order to emphasize the polarization of current politics. One of the unique features of this game is the Velcro die. As players raise money, they can buy more tokens to attach to the die. When players are confident of their chances, they can roll the Velcro die, and if one of their tokens is facing upwards they win. To reinforce how things can unexpectedly go wrong in campaigns, the game is designed so that even when players are ahead, they are never assured of winning.

    Claw Control Instruction Manual:

    Choose your player pieces. One player will be the Pro-Claw Control Dogs, and the other will be the Counter-Protesting Cats. The goal of the game is to successfully campaign your position on Claw Control politics.

    Move your pieces to the respective starting places labeled “Cat” and “Dog”. Each player should start with $100.

    Take turns rolling the numbered die to advance along the board. The Dog moves clockwise, the Cat counter-clockwise, Dog plays first. If you cross paths with your opponent when it is your turn, your opponent must give you $100.

    If you land on a square labeled “Funding” take a card from the Funding deck. Once you reap the rewards of the card, place it at the bottom of the deck. Some Funding cards will take money from your opponent.

    If you land on a square labeled “Setback”, take a card from the Setback deck. Once you lose the amount stated on the card, place the card at the bottom of the deck. Some Setback cards will take money from both players, and some may fund your opponent.

    You can spend your money on three actions:

    When your opponent lands on a Funding square, you can spend $250 to prevent them from taking a card, or you can spend $500 to make them pick up a setback card instead. If you choose to do one of these options, you must make your purchase before they take a Funding card.

    If you are near your opponent’s starting space, you can pay $750 to send them there.

    You may also spend money on tokens to be attached to the Velcro die. Once you are confident that you have bought enough tokens, you may roll the Velcro die when your player piece is near the “Die Roll Arena”.

    Your first token costs $150

    Your second token costs $300

    Your third token costs $450

    Your fourth token costs $600

    Your fifth token costs $750

    Your sixth token costs $900

    You can remove one of your opponent’s tokens for $1,000

    If you roll the Velcro die and one of your tokens is facing up, your campaign is successful. If one of your opponent’s tokens is facing up, their campaign is successful. If an empty space is facing up, you are fined $500 and the game will continue.

    If you have run out of money and you land on a Setback space, you lose. 

  • World Protest is a game that is set in a post-apocalyptic time after an imagined World War 3. In this game, players can host protests to help solve economic and social issues that are based on issues that are happening today in our world. The way players organize these demonstrationswhether as Mysterious Heroes or by leading a Revolution is by using popularity points that they acquire throughout the game. The higher Popularity the player has, the more efficient the protests will be.

    This game aims to be an entertaining way to think about what the world will be like in a few years. While it is entertaining to play, World Protest has a serious aim: to expose players to issues worthy of protest and to strategies for making protest efficient. This game is also a way to discuss issues today and what they could become in a few years.

  • READ THIS (really)

    "Play to Protest" is one of the most unusual studios in NuVu's history. We don't have blinking lights or moving machines. We DO have critical thinking, way more than most studios. For your brief and presentations to stand out, you MUST write them to reflect what makes this studio special.

    1) The Brief

    In your paragraphs, describe the theme of your game (probably one sentence). Explain the content (for example: "cops vs. protesters in a Chilean  student riot"), the mechanics (for example: "Singing songs, with a judge rating your performance") and how the mechanics relate/reflect to the theme. You do not need to explain every single mechanic; choose 2-3 that you think most relate/reflect the theme (and explain why).

    Please revise your brief tonight. The writing coach's advice is more important than anything I just wrote here; if you're not sure how to combine her advice, and this advice, follow her advice.

    2) The Presentation

    The presentation should similarly emphasize theme, content, mechanics, and mechanics as they relate/reflect to the theme. 

    We are making the following changes:

    • Instead of a "Context Image" slide, create a slide describing your THEME (with an image)
    • Instead of a "Problem/Solution or Thesis" slide, create a slide describing your CONTENT (with an  image)
    • Instead of 1 "Functional Diagram" slide, create 2-3 MECHANICS slides AS THEY RELATE TO THE THEME (each with an image)
    • Your "Final Images" slide should be at the end of the presentation (not the middle)

    Create a draft of your presentation tonight. Please work with your partners in this; maybe divide up the slides and re-combine them.

    I can 1000% guarantee that everyone will be EXTREMELY interested in how your mechanics reflect the theme. Stress this above all else!

  • Over 1 million children have fled Syria in the past 5 years. While escaping, travelling, and searching for a new home, they are falling behind in schooling. Besides academics, they also have to learn the language and customs of a different country. Our game is designed to help these children sharpen their skill in the four basic operations, become familiar with PEMDAS, and learn how to count from 1-99 in Turkish.

    The game is designed to be played by 2 players. Each player has a set of 60 pieces containing an operation and a number and a card with a set of target numbers. Each target number corresponds to one of the rows on the board. The players’ target numbers are different, and each player keeps their target numbers a secret. Each row is a separate equation, and the goal for each row is for the answer to the equation to be closer to your target number than your opponent’s once the row is completely filled. Players take turns placing pieces on the board, altering the answer of an equation with each turn. This means that players will have to calculate the effect of each action taking PEMDAS into account.

    We wanted to create a game that would be fun to play while also incorporating math into the strategy. Every time a piece is played, each player has to solve the row the piece is in to know what effect it had with PEMDAS. The more pieces have been played in the row, the longer the equation becomes. Throughout the course of a game, players will have to perform many calculations, increasing their familiarity with operations and PEMDAS through practice. Familiarity with the 4 basic operations will help the children with exponents, geometry, graphing, polynomials, and even more advanced concepts.

    In our first iteration of the game, we thought of a Connect-4 type board, with most of the basic mechanics of the game. Before we made a complete prototype however, we changed the layout of the board, so that it was flat in front of both players. Our board was a perfect square, with a 6x6 grid of indents. There was no system for determining target numbers, and nowhere for the numbers to be represented. Each player’s target numbers were hidden from the other player. After playtesting this board, we found that its shape made its orientation unclear. There was also a “parentheses” round once the board was filled in which the players would take turns placing pairs of parentheses in the equations. Each player would have only two pairs of parentheses to place.

    In our second iteration, we made the board stand up at an angle. This allowed players to see the board from a longer distance so that they did not need to sit right next to each other. Because it was semi-vertical, we made a little lip so that the pieces wouldn’t fall out. This also made the rows visibly different than the columns. In addition, we tested making each player’s target numbers known to the other player, and the parentheses round was removed because it was too complicated. Target numbers were assigned by target number cards, and each player now had a cardholder that would hold both their target number card and their pieces. The base of the cardholder had six indents which were made to hold five pieces each. However, they were not deep enough to contain all five of their pieces.

    In our final iteration, the board sits up in front of both players, like before. However, the rows and target numbers are now color coded so that each row’s target number can be easily identified. We also decided to not make target numbers known to the other player because it removed much of the strategy from the game. The cardholder was revised, replacing the six indents with a trough designed to hold two layers of pieces in a 5x3 rectangle. When not playing, the cardholder can be rearranged into a compact shape and store a player’s pieces. Finally, we decided that because the parentheses round added so much strategy and calculation, it would be mentioned in the rules as an optional challenge.

  • Since the Syrian Civil War broke out in 2011, hundreds of thousands of Syrian children have been displaced causing a huge gap in their education. “Around the World”, is a board game that will help teachers determine a student's understanding of math so they can place them in a grade level based on their ability. It also contains monuments from around the world, so they can learn a little about different wonders of the world. The monuments are their to make the game less stressful and more enjoyable.This game is an interactive tool that teachers will be able to use instead of test, which is often terrifying. How it will work is a player would roll the dice and move their piece accordingly. They would then choose a card from one of the four piles based on the space they land on. Once they have the card they will answer the question and if correct they will receive a point card with a number between one and six on it, this way a student won’t feel bad if they are not as strong in math. At each monument there is a challenge space where each player has to stop. Here they will chose another player and whoever can answer the challenge card quicker gets the point card. This demonstrates how fast a student can comprehend and contemplate. At the end of the game they will count up how many points they earned and the one who has the most wins. I created three different iterations of the project, adding and subtracting different elements along the way. I started with a more basic board shape, but ended with a path that starts and ends in the same place, going along with the theme “Around the World”. I also decided to put both English and Arabic on the board, however some of the writing is pretty small. I also did not figure out how the path is to go over the pyramid of Chichen Itza. However I did decide that their would only be three steps over the pyramid, and had an idea about how it would look, I just ran out of time.

     

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