Little Blog Adventure

A gaming "sketchblog"

Monday, March 27, 2006

Assignment 3 Further Concept Notes

Just a few brief notes on the other concepts I'll be blogging about. The first is one that Lai Lin suggested- a humourous political game where the first concept's military units are replaced by politicians and the mooted (?) researchers are replaced by "spin doctors." One suggested gameplay mechanic would involve politicians facing off to attempt to convert each other to their own parties- this seems a bit weird for a political game, so an alternate suggestion of an election was made. We discussed the idea as a group but there are certain problems with the idea of an election-based game- Cheryl raised the question of why would players want to vote for each other? Well, we could make it a full-fledged game of governence where the winning party has to run a virtual country and everyone else acts as citizens, but that's way beyond the scope of this assignment!

The idea of an election has led me to another idea- that of a political Alternate Reality Game where the mobile phone and the game's chat network acts as a primary communication tool. Each game would be a one-time event- it would be interesting if players could blur the magic circle by actively pursuing non-players to join in the game and vote for them. The game, then, would be superficially near-identical to a real political campaign. Perhaps a way of examining how campaign politics works in this age of connectivity? Blogs, mobile phones, other portable computing devices along with more traditional means of communication (posters, etc) could constitute the toolset by which players are allowed to campaign. Virtual money, too, could be provided, to facilitate transactions, both legal and illegal (bribery, anyone?).

Ok that sounds like it might be too open- perhaps more constraints are necessary? Actually, this might function well as a totally online-based game with a simulated virtual society made up of AI-controlled entities. This is close to another idea that I'm quite keen on- a massively-multiplayer God Game (which may or may not inherit the "virtual world overlaid on the real world" idea of the 1st concept). I'll blog about that in more detail later.


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