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Design for Discomfort - reading response 1

Role playing gives rule, structure and commitment to people who are engaging to certain event on the site. I am taking a Game Design class this semester, and the instructor of that class Greg introduced the social game he made for a museum, I don’t remember the specific name of it, but I guess it was a sort of political museum. The game is senate simulation for high students. When they step into the council, most of them are totally not interested in what’s going on there. They are on the field trip and just waiting for it finishes. Each student will be the senate of each state of America, and learn how to work for their own state as a senate. By doing so they will learn the political stands of Liberal and Republican parties. It’s really hard make people focus on some social event if they are just being there as obligation. So what Greg come up with was making the gamers /participants make an oath as a senate and say the oath out loud, standing a right hand, as actual senates do. What Greg says is, that is the right moment that changes uninterested high school students into senates of the States and giving them duties and responsibilities, and make them feel engaged. The ritual makes people serious and commit to their role since they say it loud. It is interesting that they feel like they are obligated even they knows it is not real and they are not legally obligated. Even very trivial matters, people feel obligated to show consistency with what they said. One example is a scheme of telemarketing, that people feel really hard to say ‘no’ after answering to the greetings like ‘How are you?’ ‘Great’, ‘Lovely’. I guess this is the magic of role playing, that let people act in certain ways without preparing many things. As in the readings this week, people actually punishes prisoner actors even they are not actual prisoners. Playing games make people put themselves into someone else’s shoe much more effectively than just listening to other people’s story. People won’t feel real for Eamon and Ulrike if they just read a article about them, not receiving commands through phone and accomplish them. We don’t need to tell people how they supposed to act one by one. By putting them in a specific situation, people act like what they think they are expected in that context.

YOU JIN CHUNG