Cruel 2B Kind (Miranda Diaz)

Partner: Ember Fu

Cruel 2 B Kind is an assassin-like game in which people attack strangers with kindness. I like that the game helps players practice giving compliments and spreading kindness; however, I feel like the publicness of the game makes it difficult for players to get to a lusory state. Since players don’t know who is playing, they risk going up to a stranger that is unaware of the game and saying something silly like “Happy Hotdog Day”. The lack of clear boundaries stops the players from getting into a flow state because they are not able to comfortably lose self-consciousness and separate from the real world. 

Our iteration of Cruel 2 B Kind was modified to be faster paced and removed the ambiguity of who is playing. The structure of our game was very similar to extreme rock, paper, scissors where players start as individual teams and become a follower of whoever they lose to. The game ends when there is one leader with everyone else as their followers. The game is organized into informal tournament-style 1v1 matches. Unlike in the original game, all of the other players know who is an eligible competitor. The last change that we made was specifying the kind of booty that people could trade. In our case, players had to trade positive wishes/affirmations. We had each player write down a nice message on an index card (ex. “I hope you eat a great sandwich today”). They would give their booty to the person they lost to, so in the end, the one victorious leader would have all of the followers’ positive thoughts. 

Player writing down their positive affirmation for booty

One success was that players seemed to enjoy the chaotic speaking over each other with compliments dynamic that resulted from the quick rock, paper, scissor style matchups. A lot of happy game noises from this! Lastly, the positive affirmation booty cards worked really well. The person who ended up winning them all in the end was kind enough to redistribute the cards back out to their loyal followers as a thanks for their cheering. Everyone got to read out their positive affirmation, and it concluded the game on a very happy note!

Players in their 1st round
2nd round match up

Luckily, there were no major issues in running the game. At the start, players had some trouble timing their compliments at the same time. We suggested they do a countdown as in rock, paper, scissors. The players were self-sufficient after that point. 

If I could do it again, I might change the types of kindness attacks that people can do. We stuck with the three classic types: holiday, intriguing, and celebrity. While people had a lot of fun with these, I think the unrealistic nature of them means that the kindness that people practice in-game is hard to translate into the real world. I would replace the holiday and celebrity attacks with things that are more practical because it would help players build skills that are more directly applicable to their real lives.

Winner sharing their booty

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