P3 Reflection

Reflecting on my experience with “Congrats Grad,” I’ve gained a deeper appreciation for the intricate decisions surrounding graduation. This game uniquely combined elements of fantasy, fellowship, and expression to create an engaging and meaningful experience. Fantasy and expression by nature of it being an RPG game where players were able to come up with their own scenarios that fit their imagined character as they world-build for themselves. Fellowship because of the interactive component: players drew each other’s characters and also all worked and discussed together on how to evaluate the likelihood of the scenarios.

The game’s ecosystem simulates the intricate web of decisions looming over a graduating senior regarding the decision on where to move for post-grad. The act of rolling for traits like relationship status or job preparedness added in an element of chance; it mirrored the unpredictability of real life, compelling the characters to navigate through scenarios under constraints that were sometimes familiar, sometimes alien. However, the decision to come up with their own scenarios and logic was to reflect the agency graduating seniors do have in making the best out of their given situation. Further, the communal discussion regarding the feasibility of the game and the dice-roll’d odds that change based on said feasibility only further mirrors the unpredictability of the real world. The game’s role-playing aspect, encouraging us to inject personal backgrounds and aspirations into our characters, made the experience more than just a game; it became a tool for introspection and a rehearsal for our very imminent real-life decisions.

Designing the game and watching people play was highly relevant and particularly impactful for me as I’m set to graduate myself at the end of this year. Observing others navigate through their decision-making processes in the game, I gained valuable perspectives and was exposed to new rationale, aiding me in understanding my own post-graduation anxieties and influencing the planning for new grad in a few months. The process of creating this game and iterating on it helped me quantify and categorize all of the major considerations (financial situation, relationship, friends, job prospects, family), which also really helped me reduce down the nebulous blob of endless concerns down to just a few priorities.

Overall, “Congrats Grad” was an enriching experience. It went beyond being just an entertaining game; it served as a tool for introspection and planning. The process of creating and refining the game provided me with a structured framework to understand and categorize the key considerations of post-college life. This experience has not only been enjoyable but also instrumental in preparing me for the next chapter after graduation, making the daunting task of navigating post-graduation life more approachable and manageable.

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