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  • In this studio, we worked with gamemaker and technology company Tencent to re-envision traditional Brazilian games to better understand their place in the modern world. Working with UNESCO, Tencent has collected traditional and folk games that were developed throughout human history and digitized their findings for use in the public domain. We will study what traditional games imply about the ancient world-view, and understand how ancient civilizations utilized games as a tool for education and knowledge conveyance. Ultimately, we will develop projects that revive ancient wisdom by transforming and spreading the traditional of Brazilian games among the younger generation with the help of latest technology and modern-era pedagogy.

  • Students initially conducted research on a wide variety of Brazilian traditional games.  Twelve games in total were chosen and analyzed for cultural and technical components of game play. Students then developed a physical "penny arcade" interpretation of the games which sought to identify and re-envision one or two salient qualities of culture or game play. These games were, with limited exception, purely physical and mechanical in game play, and students were limited in both time and materials in order to facilitate their focus on specific game elements. Many of these games informed the larger re-envisioned projects.

    • What is a game?
    • What makes games relevant?
    • What types of games exist?
    • Why do we play games?
    • Where do we learn to play games?
    • What are the elements that make for an addictive interactive game that can survive for generations?


    What games do you play, what are their historical lineages?

    Choose 1-2  games that you play and research its lineage. Once you have found its proto-game ancestor, research and document the following for the original game and the version you know:

    • What is the story behind the game?
    • What are the rules?
    • What type of game is it?
    • How is the game learned?
    • Why is it played?
    • How has it changed over time?
    • Why is it important?
    • Post 1
      • Post a video of the game in which you can see game play. Clearly (find on youtube or vimeo and embed).
      • For the text, write a WELL WRITTEN 3-4 sentence description that clearly describes the essence of the game. After reading, we should understand what the game is, how it works, where and how it is played.
    • Post 2
      • Post 4-5 CLEAR different photos, diagrams, or images of the game. 
      • For the text, answer these (6) questions:
        • 1. What are the challenges the player(s) face?
        • 2. What actions can they take to overcome those challenges?
        • 3. What can players do to affect each other?
        • 4. Is the game replayable many times without becoming "just the same" over and over?
        • 5. Is the game fair?
        • 6. What is the "essence" of the game? (low level eg. skills, high level eg concepts-ideas)
      • Write a 5-8 sentence paragraph on the CONTEXT of the game. Consider:
        • Game Designer (formal vs informal, public domain vs commercially produced, the latter usually goes for board games)
        • Game Genre - related games
        • Equipment involved
        • Socio-historical context
        • Audience
    • Post 3
      • Find a precedent or contemporary analog for the game in another social or geographical context. Post 5 CLEAR images of this alternate game. You can post multiple contexts. For example, with jumping rope, you cna include images of a Double Dutch championship, of a boxer training, and of a US school yard game of jumprope. You can also include jumping ryhmes
      • Write a few sentences describing the context of the alternate version and how it differs from the Brazillian game
    • Post 4 (optional) - Post a video of the alternate game from post 3
  • In this assignment you will make a small physical manifestation of your game. You will need to do some editing an abstraction to accomplish this. As you plan and work, consider:

    • What are the rules? How can they be distilled?
    • What is the most important physical aspects of the game to preserve?
    • How can you retain the spirit of the game, even if the form changes?
  • 1. A 1-2 sentence description of your game. 

    2. Answers to the 6 questions for your game:

    • 1. What are the challenges the player(s) face?
    • 2. What actions can they take to overcome those challenges?
    • 3. What can players do to affect each other?
    • 4. Is the game replayable many times without becoming "just the same" over and over?
    • 5. Is the game fair?
    • 6. What is the "essence" of the game? (low level eg. skills, high level eg concepts-ideas)

    3. A diagram of how your game works. This can be hand drawn or in illustrator. Remember the points we discussed in the presentations. 

    4. 3-4 sentences describing how you adapted the original game you researched into your new game. Be sure to include:

    • what rules you brought over
    • what aspects of the game you did not include
    • An analysis at how successful you were at capturing the essence of the original
    • how you might advance the project further 
  • Capoeira is an art form that involves martial arts, dance, and music. The purpose of capoeira is not to hit, attack, and defeat your opponent, but rather maneuvering them into a position where you can trick or trap them. The game continues with constant flow and challenges the players to explore their strengths and their weaknesses.

     In my game, Capoeira is met with a traditional arcade game and foosball. The game requires two players, and each player gets their own game piece. Each player tries to trap the other's game piece in the top board of the cube. The first person to do this 12 times wins. 

  • Frescobol is a game where two players hit a ball between each other with wooden racquets. The goal of the game is to keep the ball in the air for as long as possible. Frescobol is insanely popular in Brazil and in many other countries partly do to its simplicity and casual feel. 

    To represent frescobol, I created a hand crank mechanism that moves a ball between to racquets. It does a pretty good job of capturing the non competitivness of the game and the repetitive motion in the gameplay.

  • FUTEVOLEI  is a sport played on the beach, where teams of two aim to pass a soccer ball over a net using their body, the only exceptions are the hands. If the ball touches the ground on your side, you lost one point.

    In this board game, I tried to imitate the idea of having the ball pass from one side to the other without touching the floor, it's played by two and requires precision and concentration. 

    To play this game you will need a board that has a net and a flat surface for the field, and to hit the ball you will need a piece that I created that is spring loaded and can be triggered by you when the ball is coming in order to hit the ball.

  • In Corrida de Argolinha, people compete to catch an overhanging ring on the end of their spear while on horseback. To imitate the immense hand-eye coordination, balance, and skill needed to be successful at this sport, I created a game where players guide their piece along the track, and try to align their spear with the ring with out touching the arch or the hoop.

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