The importance of story

This semester, my group is working on a transformational game for the non-profit Games for Change. We were given the controversial topic of gun violence in America, which was really difficult to come up with an idea for. Of course, we did eventually settle with an idea. I covered our brainstorming and idea evaluation process in a previous post, which I strongly encourage anybody who is working on a transformational game to read.

The goal of our game is to get the audience to understand the motivations and communicate respectfully with others who have different viewpoints from them on the topic of gun control. We specifically chose to focus on gun ownership for self defense and protection, as our research showed that that was the most common reason among gun owners.

The gameplay of our game is something like Twitch plays interactive theater. The audience controls the speech of an actor on stage by sending in conversation points via a web interface we built. This first actor then voices this out to the second actor, who responds accordingly. In this way, the audience discovers and directs the story as it unfolds on stage.

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