How Designing for Love Can Change the World

A session at GDC Game Developers Conference 2012

Tuesday 6th March, 2012

10:00am to 11:00am (PST)

In recent years, games that illustrate social issues or educate players have explored several mechanisms for conveying their messages and some have explicitly targeted player's emotions. This session dives deeply into the relationships between game design, theme and emotions, asking questions like, "How can games stir compassion and empathy in players? What can we learn about player impact from the way game designers have approached themes of love, whether romantic of filial?" In these mini-lectures, six game designers explore how integrating love as a core mechanic can evoke new themes, impact the player in unforseen ways, and suggest new design areas of interest to Games for Change. They consider such questions as, how do we design core mechanics that support the theme of love? How do mechanics around love, romance, and affection reverberate through gameplay, and change players' perspectives, behavior, or understanding?

TAKEAWAY: Learn how six game designers think about the emotional impact of game design; understand how mechanics can evoke certain emotions; and come away with an expanded toolset for thinking about the relationship between game design, player impact and the theme or message of the game.

About the speakers

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Mitu Khandaker

Indie game dev on sci-fi social network sim Redshirt (http://redshirtgame.com ). Games PhD researcher. Social justice and space-nerdery.

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Chelsea Howe

Director of Design at SoCho, formerly designer at Zynga (FarmVille!) and I do some indie stuff (The End Of Us!). Love writing, laughing, playing and orangeness. bio from Twitter

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Michael Molinari

Indie Game Developer, currently working on BasketBelle, a finalist for IndieCade 2011. Writer for [SHMUPtheory]. Appeared on Next Game Boss. Musician sometimes. bio from Twitter

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Scott Brodie

Game Designer, Founder, et al. at Heart Shaped Games. Creator of Hero Generations: http://www.herogenerations.com bio from Twitter

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Martin Hollis

I'm making a game about love. bio from Twitter

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Jane Pinckard
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Jane McGonigal

I make and play games. My New York Times bestselling book is Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World http://amzn.to/rr5luD bio from Twitter

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Time 10:00am11:00am PST

Date Tue 6th March 2012


2009, Moscone Center

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Books by speaker

  • Reality Is Broken

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