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Workshops & seminars

Creating the Game that will Save the World

A Ritual Brainstorm

Date & time
Thursday, May 4, 2023
10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Registration is closed


This event is free



J.W. McConnell Building
1400 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W.

Wheel chair accessible


We, living human mammals, who delve in magic, madness, laughter, play, healing & the grotesque call upon you to partake in a creation ritual! 

Research shows that adolescents and young adults use humor and risk (psychological and physical) to learn about the world and navigate difficult situations. Youth often do this in a group setting to be recognized by their peers, hence the popularity of social media challenges.

Is there a way to design these social media trends to be transformative, healing, and community building? Could a live-action roleplaying adventure game, full of performance and ritual, reconnect us with our innermost selves to heal from trauma? 

Master of Design student and filmmaker Alexandre Franchi invites you to join him on a quest to answer these questions with guest speakers Doris C. Rusch, Vitor Pordeus, and Rilla Khaled in a conversation that dives into ritual, healing, and commmunity. 

How can you participate? Join us in person or online by registering for the Zoom Meeting or watching live on YouTube.

Have questions? Send them to  

Read more about the project here: Ritual Brainstorm Project Context/Idea (127 KB).


Doris C. Rusch 

Rusch is a game designer/researcher with a humanities background who holds a position as Senior Lecturer in Game Design at Uppsala University. Doris does research in Deep Game Design - games that explore the human experience through metaphors. Her current project revolves around creating games that contribute to a meaningful life. It takes its departure from existential psychotherapy and inquires myth, ritual and psycho-therapeutic practices that target the unconscious.

Vitor Pordeus

Vitor Pordeus is a community physician, immunologist, transcultural psychiatrist and actor living and working in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He has founded the Madness Hotel and Spa, DyoNises Theater and the Popular University for Art and Science in the oldest Brazilian Public Asylum, recently transformed into a community park, the Nise da Silveira Park. He currently is dedicated to seeing patients in the Rio de Janeiro community at the DyoNises Theater Clinic, a collective enterprise of physicians, therapists and actors.

Rilla Khaled

Rilla Khaled is an Associate Professor in Design and Computation Arts at Concordia University in Canada. Her research interests span the design of learning and persuasive games, interactions between games and culture, procedural content generation, and practices involved in game design. Lately she’s been exploring "deep" playing/learning experiences that often take place when you play experimental games. Her latest focus is on reflective game design, a new design perspective that embraces ambiguous subject matter, pushes for subverting game design standards, and draws together learning and experimental games.

Moderated by Alexandre Franchi

(Filmmaker, Master of Design student)

Alexandre is a filmmaker with 20 years of practice. His films explore myth, fantasy, and humor as a means for coping with trauma. His first feature, The Wild Hunt (2009) was set in the world of a medieval LARP. For his second film, Happy Face (2018), Alexandre worked with disfigured (facially-different) non-actors. Implementing strategies from experimental theatre and the carnivalesque aesthetic, the non-actors were able to relive and transcend difficult situations through the fictional characters they created. This experience led Alexandre to enroll in a Master of Design at Concordia university to further explore transformative narratives outside of the screen with his project Quest for Communitas.

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