Online disinformation has been likened to a game, and this project did so by turning research on Canadian disinformation into a playable fantasy game. Paying homage to the narrative adventure genre, this project uses its design structures and play to portray the research networks studied and provides an analogy and metaphor to the academic work conducted.
Titled, The Rabbit Hole this project uses play to study and discuss how disinformation creates networks online. With a “mystical” codebook to break down the narrative, this exhibit shows the use of play-based practices in studying and relaying disinformation research. It raises questions around the power of narrative and analogy in creating online movements, as well as ways to visualize the deeply networked and convoluted dynamics of online misleading content.
In Our Garden – Hanine El Mir (3:30 – 4:30pm)
In Our Garden is a collaborative and cooperative board game in which players plant crops and maintain their gardens in order to feed their communities over the span of one year. Once a year has passed, the players may decide to expand on their individual soil plots, start a community garden, get a fridge, or participate in a farmers’ market.
In Our Garden‘s playtime is based on growing times in seasonal farming calendars but scaled down for game optimisation. Players get an individual soil bed in which they plant seed cards, water them, and give them energy to help them grow. The main goal of the game is for players to achieve food security in their community. There are goal/quest cards to achieve that, such as “plant seasonally-available fruits,” “plant 3 heads of garlic” and “plant only root vegetables for the next 3 turns.”
UNDERSCORE – Owen Hellum (4:30 – 5:30pm)
UNDERSCORE is an experimental narrative game project that utilises environmental exploration, advanced non-linear dialogue, and multimedia to reflect on ideas of both alienation and kinship. Through engagement with many entities across three different acts, the player has the chance to explore concepts of shared suffering, understanding, and joy. UNDERSCORE is an emotional work, pulling on personal experiences and thoughts in regards to shared feelings and shared hopes.
The work was created in an attempt to explore concepts of choice and narrative through various academic definitions and classifications of game design. Through these novel approaches to classic narrative and game design scenarios (e.g. false choice, dilemma, delayed effect, etc.), a new approach is taken to the concepts of collective emotion and individual catharsis. This dense intertwining of both puzzle and story allow the game to effectively communicate its concepts of collectiveness. The game was developed over the course of 3 weeks, and has undergone playtesting refinement.