Hypothesis: To create a game that helps older people (age 50) use a stripped down, simpler version of Twitter as a means of communication.
Process and Reflection
This game was built for a social connection game jam.
The hardest part about this was coming up with an idea for how to solve the problem statement. I thought of many simple cooperative games but given we were talking about an age group unfamiliar with technology made things very difficult.
When I was browsing the internet for ideas on how to make a game that would encourage older people to be more social on the internet I came across a text adventure game that would use tweets as a combat mechanic. You could use predetermined tweets that, I think, would randomly generate every turn to “hurt” your enemies. I thought this would be a good idea to expand into a multiplayer game that would encourage communication and cooperation between players.
I was, however, not sold on the idea of using combat in a game like this to encourage old people to communicate. After much thought I decided to make a kind of game that still used the same mechanic of using predetermined tweets to communicate but without the combat. I decided that my final game would integrate with twitter. I had set-up a few tweets that would have generic messages like “have a nice day!” Using these messages the player can communicate with other people in twitter. There would be an offline training mode to train the player to correctly read and respond to messages on social media before slowly introducing them to the real deal. This would encourage and teach players to use social media like twitter to interact with more people.
While the goal of my game was clear and so was how to play it, there was a more fundamental issue with my game. Initially I thought my idea was cool but after much feedback I realized there wasn’t any real problem I was solving. A lack of research into why exactly older people didn’t use twitter would have resulted in a better game. I would consider my approach a failure as far as the goal of the experiment is concerned. The lesson learned was, do more research into what the problems are before trying to solve something. Very important!
Controls: Mouse only