Decolonize Games at the Toronto Biennial

This coming Saturday (Nov. 23) from 2-5pm you can play a game which challenges the colonial narratives present in too many games. Presented as part of the Toronto Biennial, Unsettling: Settlers of Catan uses the bases of Settlers of Catan to get players to think about all sorts of assumptions on games. The game was made by Golboo Amani who creates art around and about our social interactions. It’s a really fun game and you should go play it!

Unsettling: Settlers of Catan is a playful, discursive intervention into the popular board game, Settlers of Catan. Artist Golboo Amani disrupts its colonial narratives with methodologies of treaties, collaboration, and allyship, inserting new game pieces, cards, and rules. With these new tools, players develop strategies of building on and repatriation of the colonized landscape, offering the opportunity to play out strategies for radical, social, political, and industrial change.

Biennial visitors can play the full game set with facilitated guidance from card dealers and the artist. Free ticket registration is required to play the full game, or join at any time to watch, or participate by tag-teaming.

Check it out!

Using an Escape Game to Educate Radiologists

Escape room

Last year my company, Wero Creative, was hired to make an escape game all about radiology. We designed it to be a fun experience which incorporated knowledge that radiologists need to effectively do their job. It was a fun project to work on and through the process my knowledge of radiology went from zero to….a higher number. Luckily our client, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), provided all the actual knowledge and information the players needed to know. The results of the game have been excellent (which makes me feel good), and has been written up in an academic journal.

You can read the full text of the journal article or get the highlights from Radiology Business.

The escape room included both mental puzzles and physical puzzles, with teams of four to six participants being sent in as a group. One challenge, for instance, involved knowing the names of imaging diagnoses based on a description and certain “buzzwords.” A full-sized skeleton prop was also used, with participants being tasked with answering various questions about muscles and anatomy. A “debriefing” period was also built into the process, allowing participants to discuss the experience as a group.

“This helped players learn from each other and relate the activity to the reality of their future lives,” the authors wrote.

Overall, the escape room was held at RSNA 2018 in Chicago 27 times, with 144 residents participating. Sixty-four percent of participants were male, and all of them were millennials born between 1982 and 2000. While it was the first time 45% of participants had experienced an escape room, all teams escaped. The shortest escape time was 27 minutes and 28 seconds, while the longest time was more than 58 minutes.

Read more.

A Competition and Journal Looking Into Philosophy and Games

Game Praxis

Games are a very popular cultural medium with a reputation for not being very “deep”. Game Praxis is a new project I’ve co-founded to encourage game makers and players to ask big questions through gameplay. It’s a game competition and a journal focused on philosophy and games.

The goal is simple: generate more interesting content about how games can be used to explore bigger questions. For the first run of Game Praxis pre-existing games can be submitted so if you’ve already made a game that you think should be considered you can do so.

The Game Praxis mission:

Should you choose to accept it? Marx observed philosophers have interpreted the world when the point is to change it. Much the same could be said for the game industry. We need to build more than better worlds, we need to build a better world. We see crunch, the precarious careers of late capital, and a troubled and troubling apprehension of gender in game and the game industry as symptoms of an underlying pathology of the spirit. In the game industry, the measure of success is money. With all due respect to our invocation of Marx, we aren’t against the production of surplus value but we believe there are more creative ways to evaluate games, game industries and our lives in game.

Check out Game Praxis!

Play A Game Inspired by Dogecoins: AstroDoge

Dogecoin is an open source cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. Indeed, Dogecoin uses Bitcoin as its underlying codebase; the difference between the two is that Dogecoin has a ridiculous, hilarious, and enthusiastic community. The nice people who mine Dogecoins have done a lot for fund-raising for good causes:

Find out more at Dogecoin Foundation.

The community is so filled with fun and joy that it inspired me (and the rest of the team at Wero Creative) to make AstroDoge. The game captures the goal of the Dogecoin community: to the moon! In the game you steer a spaceship in between asteroids by only controlling the thrusters.

Google Play

Via my other website I guess.

TradeCity: A Game That Shows You Your Own City

TradeCity

TradeCity: Toronto is a new expeirmental art game made by Golboo Amani that begins April 1st (no fooling’) and runs to the 12th. The game is set in Toronto and you need to physically traverse the city to play the game. TradeCity will expose players to really cool organizations in the city that they may have previously been unaware of.

I’ve had the chance to help Golboo on this project as an advisor so it’s really exciting to see the game about to start. You should sign up soon as space is limited and it looks like it’s going to be a some bizarre fun!

TradeCity: Toronto beta is a live reality game that takes place from April 1st to 12th 2014, throughout Metro Toronto. TradeCity is an experimental art project by Toronto-based artist Golboo Amani. Amani has partnered up with various co-operative communities to design an exciting game that is both fun and challenging!

TradeCity:Toronto is an adventure based game that explores Toronto by asking Players to compete in site-specific as well as virtual challenges. There are dozens of chances to win prizes by demonstrating your gaming skills!

To play you must register in person on April 1, 2014 from 7pm to 9pm at TradeCity: Toronto beta Headquarters, University of Toronto Art Centre, 15 King’s College Circle. Players can register as a team or as individual players. You must be 18 years or older to play.

Registration is FREE! For more information visit tradecitygame.com.

Originally posted on Reality is a Game.

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