Games for Social Change

IDM 111
Union College
Spring 2010

Homework to prepare for class on Tuesday of week 3

Note that the Game Maker homework is also due today.


  1. Once Upon A Time: Will Video Games Ever Have Their 'Moby Dick' or 'Citizen Kane'?
  2. Chapter 15 of "The Art of Game Design" by Jesse Schell


Choose one social issue game (this can either be one of the games that you played before or you can choose a new one). Answer the following questions in writing. If one particular game does not lead to you being able to answer the questions, choose a different game.

Please, type and print your answers and hand them in in class on Tuesday.

  1. If you had to summarize the "story" of this game, what would you tell a friend?
  2. What different types of conflict arise in this game?
  3. Does this game allow you to personalize the story in any way? (such as the creation of your own avatar)
  4. Are there good interest curves in this story?
  5. What is the relationship between the (main) character and the goal of the game? Why do the characters care about this goal?
  6. What are the obstacles between the character(s) and the goal of the game?
  7. Is there an antagonist who is behind the obstacles? What is the relationship behind the protagonist and the antagonist, if there is one?
  8. Are there obstacles in this game that increase in difficulty?
  9. Some say "the bigger the obstacle, the better the story." Are the obstacles in this game big enough? Could they be bigger? How would you make them bigger?
  10. Great stories often involve the protagonist transforming in order to overcome the obstacle. How does your protagonist transform?
  11. In what ways in the virtual world of the video game simpler than the real world. What elements does it retain to achieve this simplicity? What elements does it need because it has become too simple?
  12. Are there elements to this story that qualify as a heroic story?
  13. What was the weirdest thing about this story? Does it work?
  14. If there is nothing weird in the story, is it still interesting?
  15. How does the story support the other parts of the tetrad, the aesthetics, technology, gameplay)? Can it do a better job?
  16. How can this story be better?