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Wednesday, July 8 • 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Social Change Games

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"FOLLOW" Videogame
Magali Xicohtencatl, Diana Sánchez, Roberto Razo Rodríguez

Follow it's a serious video game that we are developing as part of a project to raise awareness about the use of social networks as a means to capture young women for trafficking in Mexico.

Troubled Lands: A Sustainability Game
Thomas Fennewald

Troubled Lands is an open source, 30-min educational game about sustainability for ages 13 to Adult. It is a simple to learn yet morally provocative social dilemma game that requires players to address competing motivations of self-preservation and group loyalty as players need to apply moral reasoning to address inequalities and conflicts of interests. Many sustainability themes including communal negotiation, governance, inequality, power, and the tragedy of the commons are present in the game.

Designing Tenacity
Mike Beall, John Binzak, Craig Anderson, Lauren Wielgus, David Azari, Jennifer Dalson, Kurt Squire, Constance Steinkuehler

The Tenacity project is a collaboration between meditation experts and neuroscientists at the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds (Richard Davidson, Director) and game designers and learning scientists at the Games+Learning+Society Center (Constance Steinkuehler and Kurt Squire, Directors). Our goal was to facilitate and support the practice of mindfulness through a digital application and ultimately research the behavioral and neural effects. The nature of this interdisciplinary work is exciting and groundbreaking, but creating an engaging experience that stays true to the practice of meditation comes with its own challenges. Unlike most games and digital applications, the goal of meditation is not easily mapped to standard “win” states common to games.  Practicing mindfulness is, in a way, somewhat orthogonal to the idea of earning a high score, beating a boss monster, or obtaining some rare drop. Rather, the goal here is to let go of the win state itself and instead become more self-aware and thus master not the game system but your own mind. Standard design elements that make a game engaging were, over repeated iteration in this project, reined in or stripped out entirely so as to stay true to the main “verb” within the game – self-regulation of one’s attention rather than seduction by a well-designed and “sticky” digital stimulus.  Once our builds reached the hands of our adolescent participants, however, engagement was sorely lacking. Even when we reframed the builds as “gamified apps” with an achievement system but no core game mechanics per se, our target audience of teen- and tween-agers wanted something more recognizable, engaging, and sticky. In this Worked Example, we discuss our game design and redesigns in terms of telemetry data extracted from kleenex tests and a two-week experimental trial, the questions and conclusions we have now about this effort, and how we’ve shifted not only graphics and game mechanics but core audience.

avatar for Elisabeth Gee

Elisabeth Gee

Tempe, Arizona, USA, Arizona State University
I'm the Associate Director of the Center for Games & Impact at ASU, and co-directing the Play2Connect initiative with Dr. Sinem Siyahhan at Cal State-San Marcos. I'm interested in gender and gaming, game-based affinity spaces, and intergenerational play.


Craig G. Anderson

Grad student, University of Wisconsin - Madison
avatar for John Binzak

John Binzak

Research Project Assistant, Games+Learning+Society
avatar for Roberto Razo Rodríguez

Roberto Razo Rodríguez

Universidad Iberoamericana Puebla

Wednesday July 8, 2015 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Class of '24

Attendees (36)