Friday, 7 August 2015

Catching up: Week 2: Wearable Social Interventions and Game Mashups

This week we’ve started generating ideas for our future projects. We were provided with two challenges to choose from:

1. Think of unacceptable or awkward things or behaviours in our everyday world that irritate you or other people, and develop some wearable device that either corrects or transforms this irritating behaviour.

2. Select 2 games from the provided list of 3 groups of games (Pencil and Paper Games, Board Games and Arcade Games) and create a mashup of them combining their most interesting features and making a new game a unique and a captivating one.

Let’s start with the first one.

Wearable Social Interventions
First, I brainstormed any ideas that deal with social faux pas. As a result of the brainstorming session compiled the following list was compiled:
  • Eating too noisily
  • Talking too loud being in public places
  • Listening to music in public places using the speakers of smartphones
  • Constantly interrupting other people mid-conversation
  • Using too many filler words
  • Reading over people’s shoulders
  • Talking with earphones being on
  • Pointing at a person while telling something
  • Swearing
  • Talking with your mouth full
  • Invading your personal space
  • Stopping in the middle of a walking crowd
  • Making phone calls when you’re talking to someone.

Then we suggested developing some devices that would solve or at least transform these faux pas. One of the devices that can be created is a high-tech bracelet that has a micro-chip, a microphone and several spikes inserted into it.

As soon as the wearer of the bracelet uses some predefined filler words or starts talking too loud (or does some other irritating things that can be programmed here), the bracelet via a microphone gets a signal of the irritating behaviour. In this case spikes move to the fore pushing against the hand and signalling the wearer to stop making an unwelcome action.

Game Mashups
Well, telling the truth, I am not a game lover but certainly it wasn’t difficult to choose games as they’re known to everyone. I picked one Pencil and Paper Game (Hangman) and one Board Game (Guess Who). Doing the analysis - I identify the most interesting features that make these games unique and especially attractive to players.

So, let’s see what features I came up with.

Hangman (Pencil and Paper Game)
  • It’s competitive
  • It has a score system
  • It’s a two-player game
  • It’s a puzzle game
  • It’s challenging at times when short words are used
  • It can be played anywhere, and it takes only pen and paper to set it up
  • It’s a guess work
  • It can be prolonged if players add additional lines to a hangman’s picture

Guess Who (Board Game)
  • It has many photos which are flipped down
  • It’s an elimination game with “yes” or “no” answers
  • It’s a short game
  • It’s a two-player game
  • It’s quite easy

The next step is to figure out how to combine the games to make a new, more interactive and unique game.
Here’s how our new game looks like.

The basis of the game is a Guess Who game. It’s played by two people in turns. Players need to guess the card the opponent has selected. To make the game more engaging, competitive and intriguing, we’ve added the elements of the Hangman into it: each time a person doesn’t guess the card, the other player draws one element of a hanged man stick figure as a tally mark.

The player who is the first to guess and whose hangman is not actually hanged wins the game. In case the hangman is hanged before the card is identified, the game automatically finishes, and the owner of a hanged man becomes the loser.

This practical session was really helpful as it showed how to look at everyday things from a different angle and start thinking outside of the box every once in a while. I’m sure I’ll examine the things deeper and come up with a great idea which my project will be based upon. 

Feeling thrilled already!

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