Game Draft

The game me and my friend Mohamed are planning to make is named for now “Football quiz,” that’s draft 1 for the name hopefully we might have a better name when submitting the game.

When we first thought about a game we wanted to design a game that isn’t really sad we wanted to design a game that actually the players might benefit from it and might take something from it with their lives. The players are expected to encounter situations that for sure will be challenging for them, as they will be required not to think with their current age, but to put themselves in the shoes of a 12 year old boy, and how will the pressure from the surroundings like his friends and family, how does the pressure of these people will affect his decisions, will he hold tight on the things he love the most or will he change all of his beliefs on order to escape from all the pressure that surrounds him, all of these will be known throughout the game and it will be totally based on the answers or choices the player takes. It’s not a path A & path B, but it has different paths for the answers someone gives. So briefly the game tackles the concept of persistence and passion. The game with all of its information is based on personal experiences and annually situations that will for sure add the sense of reality to the game.

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Digital Games

Trying digital games with an aim behind is a very new experience to me. I have experienced some new topics that never crossed my mind and got to put myself in others’ shoes. I felt and learnt a lot as well.

Sleep-Deprived Mom Game (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScap1su2i270VXK3DtWGWA683lyU6UkXJer_cSpN2tl0rXCjQ/viewform?c=0&w=1)

  • I have tried the sleep deprived mom game, it had 2 scenarios after each question, and both eventually lead to losing sleep no matter what I choose. I liked that it was so realistic, and it reminded me with what I witnessed with my mom while taking care of my baby brother & sister years ago. Maybe what I didn’t like that it was limited options but the 2 options made sense anyway. What is weird that I felt really sleepy during the game! I felt like I got really tired and I regret all the hours wasted in the game whenever I make a choice that requires losing 2 hours of sleep and so on. What I have learned is that the next time I see a mother trying to sleep, I’ll take her baby and take care of it till she gets some rest!

 

Fake it to make it (http://www.fakeittomakeitgame.com/)

  • Before I try this game, I double thought if I would be able to play it because usually I am a very cautious person about what I share on social media, as I don’t share anything before making sure it is correct & from a reliable source. So ironically, spreading fake news was not that easy for me during the game. I was so picky about which news I might share. For example, I kept thinking which is less harmful to share ‘the president is a member of this religion’ or ‘check the most expensive vacation the president was on.’ Needless to mention that I chose the second news because its impacts or damages for those who read it would be less. I know I am too serious for a game. I couldn’t complete it anyway. I liked it seemed like a real website but I didn’t like that it was a bit vague & I didn’t enjoy it. However, it learnt me or acknowledged me that I am hard to let go of my concepts even though it is a game, but it something that I am poriud of after this game!

 

Single Mothers Game (https://writer.inklestudios.com/stories/fzvq)

  • It is a game where I get to choose whether my husband die or left me & my children, then go through many scenarios to adapt living without him & to support my family financially. I chose that he has died, so it showed me that now I have problems with my inheritance as I can’t take it immediately. So, I have to work or sell my properties. Of course I chose to work, then I got really pissed off with the fact that I was paid as a part time because this was more of a “manly” job. As if the latency of inheritance wasn’t enough! The game really made me feel the struggle. I loved it so much and I wished that the scenarios would complete endlessly so that I know how the situation is like to a single mom till the very end.

 

 

Child Abuse Orphan edition (https://writer.inklestudios.com/stories/2v24)

  • This topic was so out of my usual scope. It makes me live as an orphan & at first I have the choice either to keep living & bear the abuse of the caretaker or runaway. I ran away, found another orphanage, got adopted, finished highschool & moved wih my parents to US! I liked that finally a happy ending to story instead of being depressed with the result at the end. From the previous game, it left with an expectation that I will lose the family at the end or they’ll abandon me. What I didn’t like is that I wasn’t left with much options, only runaway or stay at orphanage & to stay in Egypt/Move to US. Otherwise, it was just story telling with one button to click to see how the story would go.

 

Street-Sweeper (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScDnVBWYxmSI_xiYIqdEJcLIWupYrTh3MZW2nrOUP9gRZUCPA/formResponse)

  • Again, so out of my scope the topic was. It started with telling me to increase my shift from 6 am to 4 pm, to 8 pm instead! Without getting paid for the extra hours. of course I chose to not work that day as a form of protest, but I wasn’t paid that day & got fired for behaving badly! So, I had to retry the game to put myself more in the shoe of the street sweeper. I tried again, and got fired again! Why? Because I didn’t have enough money so it is either buy my medication & beg in streets, or save the money to feed my family. So I saved, then it got worse, I was sick in bed so I got fired. This was so hard! Maybe the hardest of the 5 games. She supported her game with very realistic pictures. And giving me so hard choices. Not only this, I also chose to be submissive in all the situations that I have could stood up for myself and talk for. But I felt like I had absolutely no right to do this, and instead I will be yelled at so I just chose to remain silent and keep the suffering for myself.

Empathy & Bias

In this reflection, I will reflect on empathy & bias using different resources like articles, videos and games. Mentioning people’s thoughts & perspectives as well as my personal opinions. Beginning with having empathy and being moved deeply inside with the incidents that occur to some people all the way to being biased towards others.

Starting with the game Syrian Journey, It made me feel empathetic rather than biased towards a certain group. I chose to go to Turkey as it is the safer road. Then, after I chose to go to Greece and when arrived there, I had to choose whether to run into the woods with my family, or risk the mother & her daughter from drowning. Of course I chose to rescue them as I couldn’t bear the picture in my mind of them drowning in the sea, but it cost me to go back to Turkey and be away from my family that is in Greece now. I played again to see what the other option would do. So, in the second time, I chose to leave them drowning and run with my family into the woods. Again, it cost me leave them in Greece & run to Europe so that I can get asylum. In this case if & only if I was accepted in Europe as a refugee, I would be able to get my family to live with me. This was so heartbreaking for me because it made feel the real struggle of the Syrian refugees that no matter what they do, there would still be a huge possibility that they would be separated from their family if they seek survival in good conditions. Which means that family at last would remain as a word to them but no actual existence to it, as each member of this family is separated & living somewhere in a different country than the others.

Of course here I remembered the article written by Lina Mounzer “War in Translation” where she discussed their situation, and how it felt living in Syria during the war & the family members seeing each other getting killed, harassed, or running away from the country. Her strong word choices made me feel their struggle, or at least imagine it with the pain they are feeling in their chest with every situation they pass by. I really liked the part where she mentioned that in translation, the choice of words is really important or else the reader won’t be able to feel the struggle. However, reading the article then playing the Syrian journey game was a perfect combination to emotionally understand the Syrians situation and empathize towards it.

Talking about the game Spent,’ well it was the first ‘emotional’ game that I’ve tried. It was based on making all tough decisions, and on deciding what are you willing to sacrifice to keep what you care about or what you have ‘empathy’ towards. For me, It was either maintaining my money or caring for my family. It was so hard to balance. The first sacrifice I made in the game was myself; I chose not to have an insurance, to sell my car, and to ignore the need of going to the doctor in order to keep my money for my kid and my family needs. However, it kept going harder like having only $400 left but my mother needs medication that costs $350. Of course I chose to bring the medication but I quickly ran out of money. But still, I loved the game; it needed emotional thinking and taking emotional decisions rather than intellectual ones.

Moving to being biased, I have tried the IAT (Implicit Association Test) and this was my result “Your data suggest a strong automatic preference for Arab Muslims over Other People. Result is described as an “Automatic preference for Arab Muslims” if you were faster responding when Arab Muslims and Good are assigned to the same response key than when  Other People and Good were classified with the same key.” I enjoyed playing the game itself very much as I was impressed how it was able to determine my answer from how fast I press the keys & what was easier to process in my mind (like Good & Muslims were easier to relate than it was Others & Good). However, I wasn’t surprised with the final answer because I know for sure that if I am at a place where there are Arab Muslims & foreigners, I would definitely choose the Arab Muslims. And I wouldn’t call this a bias but rather being comfortable to whom look like me, and we would understand each other easily. Also, I definitely won’t treat the others badly or in a disrespectful way that is why I don’t call it a bias but rather I preferred whom I’ll easily communicate with.

                One last thing is Diffusing bias video by Binna Kandola, he talked about Bias in a psychological way that explains it all. He started by stating sentences that represent my personal opinions like “We’re all biased without exception”, a sentence that I truly believe in, and also when he mentioned that we are not divided into people who have bias and others who don’t, but rather people who are aware of their biases and others are not. Moreover, When he mentioned “One of the ironies is that those people who believe they have no bias probably are the most biased because there’s no reflection going on,this sentence made me stop and think, whenever we open a class discussion and bring up bias, someone must mention being biased towards black people. I believe that I am not biased towards them at all but in the matter of fact, I haven’t been in a situation where I have to deal with an African American for example to see how I would react, and how the thought in my mind would like. Will I act normally as if I am dealing with any other person in my daily life? Would it feel weird and I might avoid dealing with him/her? I had all this questions on my mind and I don’t think that I’ll find an answer to if I’m really biased or not until I am in a real life situation that shows me how I would think, feel and react.

            All in all, as hectic and multi-resourced this reflection was to me, as much I have enjoyed it because I got to try new types of games that actually had a great aim, and also I’ve got the chance to watch videos and hear different people’s opinions and perspectives about bias and empathy towards completely various and different groups of people.