Week 2 – Gathering Info.
Information & Inspiration
We continued our research on cyberbullying and toxicity from last week into this week. We noted down a handful of shows, movies, and games that we felt were relevant. Some because they had themes like anonymity or positive communication, and others, like Pandemic, because we thought they might serve as interesting mechanics or metaphors for how this problem spreads. Transformational games centered around cyberbullying specifically seem a bit rare, but some do exist. Of course, we continued looking through relevant talks and papers as well.
Midway through the week, we spent some time consolidating our information in a composition box. We took it to the Playtest to Explore workshop to get some communal feedback and ideas, which helped us understand our direction and identity as a team. We made a decision to focus primarily on toxicity in the gaming space, rather than online toxicity at large. While this is still a huge area, it does narrow our view considerably. Not to mention the composition box just being a nice thing to look at on the wall.
We also made a mind map to collect information and pen down our understanding about online gaming toxicity concepts. This contained just about everything idea we could think to write about gaming toxicity, in a general sense. It helped us get on the same page about the topic and stretch our minds a bit to see what we could come up with.
We had a meeting with Dave to prime us on the Transformational Framework – a set of guidelines for pre-production when working on transformational experiences. The next day we attended the Transformational Framework workshop with Sabrina Culyba, the author of the framework. In the workshop we got more in-depth about the different concepts and began tentatively trying to answer some of the questions it poses, such as what our high level purpose is, or our audience’s initial (pre-transformed) state.
After the workshop, the team sat down and looked at the framework in earnest. We went through each question it poses and tried our best to answer it given what we know now about the project and our subject. This was all collected into a Google Doc. While we know that this document will be subject to heavy change as we go along, at least beginning to grapple with these questions is an important step.
While talking about online toxicity and a bunch of different inspirational experiences, it was hard not to imagine what our game could be. We came up with a few different ideas here and there throughout the week, some focusing on different themes or metaphors, while others played around with mechanics to get a message across. We haven’t locked anything in for prototyping yet, but we thought it best to write down the ideas as they came.
To prepare ourselves for some of the ETC’s deliverables, we sat down and discussed various ideas for logos poster imagery. We drew up ideas as we had them, while discussing the pros and cons of each. We went back and forth on topics like which symbols to use and whether our image was sending a sufficiently positive message and so forth, but haven’t made any concrete decisions other than agreeing on a few ideas that we like most. We will make some drafts next week to get feedback from faculty.