An outdoor game aiming to engage players in critical thinking about the advertising world and the dominance of commercial messaging in public spaces.

Student Project: Games for Change Course, MFA in Design for Social Innovation

Team: Haya Shaath, Meryl Natow, Anna Braga, Juno Lee, Yuka Uogishi

Role: Game design

Year: March 2014

Our assignment was to design an outdoor/”big” game with a defined social impact. Brainstorming over different existing games like Charades, we were inspired to make a game that makes use of what already exists in our urban environments.

Upon observation we realized our daily surroundings in the city were dominated by an abundance of consumerist messaging – which most people give little thought to how much they are exposed to and how they are affected by. We decided to use the mechanics of the game to draw attention to this issue.

Our final design was a game where teams of players are given limited time to scout public spaces for advertisements of all shapes and sizes, documenting them and weaving them into a storyline relating to a pre-chosen social cause. We prototyped with our class players, who said that playing got them to notice how much of a presence advertising has in the spaces they occupy everyday and think about what kind of content they are being bombarded with.