Game Design Night Reflection

My “live gameplay experience” was not, per se, gameplay, but rather the Queer Game Design night hosted at the MADD center. We set about in small groups making games with queer mechanics. The game my group made was a collaborative card game. In trying to get it to be collaborative, we ended up thinking about things similar to what we talk about with collaboration in ARGs. We were trying to determine what would inspire or motivate players to cooperate, how to reward them for doing so without really penalizing them for not. We toyed a lot with what players might find to be engaging mechanics, especially in a game that emphasized non-competitive play. Our biggest challenge, however, was one of affect. Since the game mechanic we were designing around was “coming out” we wanted to be extremely careful with the implications of rewarding or penalizing certain behaviors, like competitiveness or helpfulness. We wanted players to have to think about coming out as a communal good that they needed to achieve for everyone as opposed to an individual process that they could win. Our thinking on this problem ended up almost entirely shaping the nature of the game.