P3: Reflection

Upon reflection, I definitely learned a lot from P3 and loved that we were asked to model our games after real-world systems. This requirement required each of our team members to thoroughly understand the system that we would be modeling our game after, so this additional research prior to developing our game was a unique experience. Although our game evolved drastically over six playtests, our team knew that we wanted to model our game after the spread of misinformation. Given the current ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict, misinformation and disinformation on social media is a top-of-mind issue for users, so we thought that being able to identify what is true versus what is “clickbaity”online would be a useful skill for our players to learn.

I learned the power that multiple interacting mechanics have on an engaging gameplay experience. During our first two prototypes, we naturally started off simple, and lots of the feedback that we got back from players were that they didn’t feel motivated to accomplish their objective or that they felt that the game got boring after a few rounds. As we developed the game up to our final prototype, it was super rewarding seeing our hard work pay off as playtesters told us, and I quote, “This is a good game.”

I think this positive feedback mainly came from us incorporating mechanics into the game that allowed players more autonomy. Players felt more competitive and motivated to win when they each embodied different roles with different objectives. Players also enjoyed being able to generate false, clickbaity headlines on top of accurate ones. We started off with encouraging only accurate headlines, but this wasn’t representative of the real world where social media users all have different objectives to gain credibility or a large following.

As we reach the end of P3, I realize that my initial perception of a system game was so limited. When I thought about systems, I thought about complexity, and concepts like climate change, the financial system, and computer science came to mind. I realize now that people interact with systems that are seemingly simple but are actually very complex on a daily basis. For example, friendships, romantic relationships, family dynamics. It is so interesting to be able to look at these things differently now and gain a deeper understanding of how the world changes with human interaction.

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