The first week or two of Uni normally consists of uncomfortable ice breaking activities that we often just want to get over and done with. We give short, generic answers to the class that don’t lead to any discussion or further questioning.
In Game Experience Design, or BCM300, we played games for the first two tutorial classes. Multiplayer board games, card games, puzzle games, many of which involved some form of teamwork.
This hands-on approach led to full class involvement. It encouraged discussion which was both related and unrelated to subject material. This interactive way led to us subconsciously learning and experiencing game-play studies.
The game that the entire class played was called Werewolf. I decided to provide a very brief analysis of the game which may help those understand why this particular game felt like such an effective way of learning…
- Owner / designer: Mathew Sisson
- Game-design studio: Stellar Factory, Colorado, U.S.A.
- Company founded: 2014
- Goal: creating a face-to-face social space
- Inspiration: Dimitry Davidoff’s 1986 game Mafia
- Niche market game based on a former mass-market game (party-game, family-game)
- Small manufacturer team
- Format: card game, minor role-playing
- Object of the game: “kill” other players, last man standing wins
- Players: up to 35 people
- Manufacturer’s recommended age: 12+
- Technique: moderate- just don’t look suspicious 🙂
Werewolf allowed for a collective effort to play the game at a somewhat rapid pace.
During a group game-play session, researcher Booth (2016) discussed how it was easy to lose track of whose turn was next. However, the players all tried to stay in character and continued on playing, each contributing to remembering who’s turn was next (p.652).
While playing Werewolf, I initially had a difficult time understanding the rules and what was going on, however with 20+ students playing, it was easier to catch-on and continue (learning by doing).
This group-play met the game designers goal where it created a social space for multiple players to interact, support, explain, and have fun with.