Games Reflection

In class we were assigned games to play and reflect on them. The first game I played in class was ‘spent’ (http://playspent.org/html/). Before playing this game I honestly thought I had an idea about financial problems but after playing the game I realized how clueless I was. The first time I played the game I reached a score of 23. I was very engaged in my first trial and I was carefully evaluating my choices and the higher my score would go the higher my stress level would go with it. Just from playing the first time I became aware of the importance of decision making and how one wrong decision can lead to the collapse of an entire household. For example I was doing well with the choices I made until I made one decision to not answer a phone call and it turns out it was overdue charges on my car. Because I didn’t answer I had to pay an amount of money that I didn’t have so my car was taken away and because of that I had no means of transportation which resulted in me being fired from work. The second time I played the game I reached the final level and I had money left but I made a lot of immoral decisions. I left my kid home alone sick, I hit a car and just left it there and deprived my kid of a lot of school activities. So this game for me is the perfect example of ‘you can’t have it all’. I particularly liked the idea of providing statistical information after almost every choice which helped keep me informed in so many areas I didn’t know about. What I learned from this game is that there are people out there who work night and day just to just get basic needs while paying huge amounts of taxes while there are corporations out there worth more than a billion dollars who don’t even pay taxes. This huge gap shows how humans have become detached from each other where some bathe in diamonds and others swim in depression.

The second game I played was the BBC Syrian refugee game (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-32057601), this game was an emotional rollercoaster. The first time I played the game I chose to go to Egypt and eventually my family and I all drowned. The second time I played the game I chose to go to Turkey and the game ended very quickly because the smuggler took the deposit money but never came back. What I liked about this game is the use of graphics and the details of the geographic areas and prices. The only thing I would add is possibly more options to travel to. Having already been in touch with the situation in Syria, this game added to me more insight regarding the terrible conditions that refugees have to go through in order to try to find better living conditions and very often failing at doing so. Playing this game made me think of how often we abuse the phrase ‘ you always have a choice’ because when people have to choose between leaving their homes or risking their lives, It no longer becomes a choice, it becomes a death sentence.

The third game I played was the depression game (http://www.depressionquest.com/dqfinal.html#2n.1e.4s.2x.1d). Unlike the first two games I wasn’t as engaged with this game as much. I did like how the inventors of the game scratched out one of the easy choices so that the person playing couldn’t choose them. I thought that was a clever way to show how easy it is for some people to just “shake off the funk and go out with your girlfriend” whereas if a person is depressed something as easy as that isn’t even an option. However, I think it would be more beneficial if the scenarios were shorter and more meaningful. Also as the inventors of the game first mentioned it’s very hard to specifically limit depression to one thing because people experience depression differently.

The fourth game I played was the fake it, to make it game. (http://www.fakeittomakeitgame.com/) In this game I chose to get money to pay for an apartment’s deposit, in doing so the game lets you create a fake site in order to spread fake news which results in money as the ratings get higher. I think the design of this game was brilliant because it showed the actual process of creating a fake site which surprisingly for me wasn’t that hard but it was indeed alarming. It was also informative. For instance, I had no idea that getting ratings from the American people results in more money. After playing the game I learned that I have to be really careful and observant when picking which sources to read my news from but most importantly to always be inquisitive.

The fifth game I played was also a fake news game called ‘bad news’ (https://getbadnews.com/#play). At first I quickly lost all credibility because I wouldn’t go along with creating a fake account or impersonate someone famous. I played the game a second time and it showed how the more you spread news under the name of someone famous the more credibilities you gain. This was also eye opening for me because it made me realize that fake news doesn’t just come from fake sites but also from fake accounts that people mistake for the real ones which can be more tricky and unfortunately believable.

The sixth and final game I played was a student designed game about domestic violence in Egypt ( https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScyWGr3tk8-K8KwH4Mayw6Iblia9ep4TUnAcpwCT_D_WXnnQg/viewform). I was very impressed by this game. It was extremely powerful and it was obvious that a lot of research has went into the making of the game. The pictures included and the scenarios laid out were very inclusive and really made me visualize what a lot of women in Egypt go through. In addition, the game was very informative as there were facts listed related to every scenario. One of the things I learned is that 300,000 families suffered from nightmares and fears due to violence perpetrated by the husband. I don’t think there’s anything I would change about this game as it didn’t feel any less professional than the professional games.

Overall I enjoyed the experience of playing different games and getting informed about different topics. I specifically preferred the games that provided facts and statistics after every choice because it helped give insight like spent, BBC Syrian refugee and domestic violence games. I also liked the design of the two fake news games, by demonstrating the process of creating fake news it helped me become more aware of the these kinds of fake sources.

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