Figure 1: Google Document with notes on intended changes for the audience, built collaboratively by the team.
had more discussion about what a learner needs to do to be able to change. In the large group, the teams shared what they had discussed, and then they prioritized the desired changes and activities. It’s important to note that often in the design step, it’s useful to identify what the game will not try to do . For example, in this jam, the team felt strongly that all shoppers execute some level of judgment in prioritizing their shopping behavior, and the game shouldn’t try to establish what those priorities are; rather, they wanted to make sure that the shopper had information to make the decisions that aligned with their values. This helped the team limit the scope of the game, ultimately deciding to focus on just a couple of GMO crops.
Throughout the first Monday meeting, the team collaborated on a group design document, noting decisions and discussions. Before adjourning the large group, the team began “Activity 2: Decide on Final Deliverables from Jam.” In this discussion, the larger team balanced the expectations and needs from the content experts with what was doable for the designers to produce in a week of work. The team articulated how they could expand the prototype in future projects and the need for the prototype to be playable (at least a portion of it) to allow user testing with the intended audience, to inform research. The larger team would not be happy with paper documents: they really wanted a playable experience for consumers. The larger team adjourned, and a smaller designers’ group continued to meet so that they could move into the third design step: “Design the engagement” (Table 2). Using the decisions documented during the larger meeting, the smaller team of designers worked towards a proposal idea to pitch to the large group on Tuesday, the second day of the game jam. Designers brainstormed several ideas, culminating in a game around a fact-finding mission during which the player would shop in stores, get help reading labels, experience surprise about what content was and wasn’t on the label, and could make decisions that aligned with their own values. Designers decided to use a film noir approach for the game idea, creating a script/proposal and producing initial sketches to illustrate the idea: a detective helping puzzled consumers investigate food labels. This idea was good because it met the defined change goals and activities that the larger group had articulated; it also lent itself to an easy prototype — just one example of an episode that could be expanded into a larger game in the full version.
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