Our 6-semester BA-students have a very special collaborative project on „impact games“ this summer term. In general, impact games are playful experiences that are designed to encourage a change in behaviour or teach the players something new and help them experience another perspective on a given topic. For obvious reasons, this semester the students focus on the current spreading of the Corona virus throughout the world.
This special semester task does not only have the purpose of teaching the students new skills and proceed in their education, but by enableing the students to change from a passive to an active role, from victim to actor, it also aims at improvinng their wellbeing.
Right now, the students are working in small teams on 14 projects in 5 different categories:
Three projects are directly adressing mental issues and psychological effects of the current situation, four are a simulation of the virus‘ spreading throughout the world and focus on fighting it. Two projects try to show how to fight the virus inside of the body, while four others focus on the interpersonal effects of social distancing. Finally, one project concentrates on the economic impact of the Corona crisis.
We are very curious what will become of these projects! When there are screenshots, Gameplay videos or even playable games, we will post it here.
Here’s a short description off all projects:
1 Psychological Approach
Curio: The player’s job is to take care of little abstract tasks that are engaging but also relaxing. The aim is to help people stay in the moment, not worry too much and distract the players in stressful situations.
Fount: In this casual game, the player navigates a nanobot through a fluid stream. The underlying idea is to help the player cope with overwhelming thoughts, achieve a flow-state to reduce anxiety or stress and instead induce positive emotions.
Quarantine Companion: The game adresses mental health issues during isolation: The aim is to help players develop new routines and coping mechanisms. It sets the player scheduled tasks embedded in a progression system, including categories like creativity, outdoor activity, relaxation.
2 Fight the virus throughout the world
Ió: In this game, you manage a space colony on jupiter‘s moon ió during a pandemic. You have to make difficult decisions in order to minimize losses. So, it highlights the difficulties of decision-making as a leader in these times.
Ambrosia: In this online game, players work together to keep „the blob“, an unknown organism, alive and healthy in a harmful environment that changes depending on the number of Corona-cases around it. The players learn how to protect society, how to flatten the curve in a playful way.
Flatten the Curve: This puzzle game is a simulation of the spreading of the virus. The players‘ task is to slow down the spreading of the virus by changing variables. It teaches about prevention methods and challenges the player to find creative solutions to slow the spread.
Triage Hospitals: The player is a nurse at a hospital, who has to tend to Covid-19 patients and make decisions that affect their wellbeing. You have to try to help as many as possible and keep others and yourself from being infected.
3 Fight the virus inside the body
Microscopic Mike: As a player you are inside the body of a person infected with Covid-19. The action game eventually loops back to the start and lets you play again with a different weapon. You have to defeat infected cells, rally the immune system into action and find a vaccine.
Project X: The game aims to show how hard it is for doctors to deal with this crisis and teaches players how to keep safe and not get infected with Corona. The player is a doctor with a vaccine-shooting weapon who has to „shoot“ the patients in order to heal them. You can’t let the patients get close to you, otherwise you will get infected and you have to find a place to wash yourself in order to stay alive.
4 Social Approach
What’s next: In this live simulation game you live with others in a WG and you need to stop them from getting bored during quarantine.
Shop heroes: The game raises awareness for the heroes of the crisis, i.e. in the supermarket. It teaches about the dangers of something mundane like going shopping these days.
Sticky Socks: In this combination of a puzzle game, memory game and cooperation game you can get in touch with you neighbours or roommates. It’s bases on the idea of hanging dang damp clothes on drying racks in front of balconies or in some countries even across the street from house to house. The aim is to ask someone find your missing matching socks.
CoronaCards: The aim is to bring people together over a distance, lighten the mood. The game invites you to engage with friends & family via „Corona Cards“, that are little tasks like taking a funny picture, record a little dance and post it on social media.
5 Economic Approach
Pandonomics: In this game you give advice to prevent an economic crisis. With real stock market data used as a base, the game consists of trading stocks. It is educative and teaches the mechanics of stock trade.
Screenshot taken from the project “Ambrosia”.