The Values at Play (VAP) project was conceived with the intent of investigating how video game designers consciously and unconsciously embed social values into video games through narratives and game mechanics. This curriculum, a corollary of the research project, will introduce designers to a systematic method for discovering, analyzing, and integrating values and meaningful, critical play into their design work. All of the materials associated with the curriculum are available on this page as downloadable documents.
If you would like further information on trying this curriculum segment in a course, please contact contact (at) tiltfactor (dot) org.
Teaching & Curriculum Guide
The guide contains a unit for introducing game designers to the concept of values embedded in games. The unit is divided into four lesson plans and covers the three segments of the Values at Play design methodology.
- Design Journal prompts (.docx)
- Belman, J. & Flanagan, M. “Designing Games to Foster Empathy.” Cognitive Technology 14(2), 2009, pp. 5-15.
- Belman, J. (2007). Game reviews. game_reviews.pdf
- Bogost, I. (2006). Playing Politics: Videogames for Politics, Activism, and Advocacy. First Monday, 11(9), Special Issue #7: Command Lines: The Emergence of Governance in Cyberspace.
- Flanagan, M. & Nissenbaum, H. (2007). A game design methodology to incorporate social activist themes. Proceedings of CHI 2007. New York: ACM Press, 181–190. vap-chifinal06sub.pdf
- Frasca, G. (2004). Videogames of the oppressed.
- Friedman, B. & Nissenbaum, H. (1996). Bias in computer systems. ACM Transactions on Information Systems, 14(3), 330–347.
- Latour, B. (1994). Where are the missing masses? Sociology of a door. In Wiebe Bijker and John Law (Eds.) Shaping technology/Building society: Studies in sociotechnical change. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 225–259.
- Mental Health Alliance Blasts Manhunt 2
- Norman, D.A. (2004). Affordances and design.
- Orr, M. (2005). User-centered design.
- “Saving the World, One Video Game at a Time” (New York Times, July 23, 2006):
- Winner, L. (1988). Do artifacts have politics? In L. Winner, The whale and the reactor: A search for limits in an age of high technology. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. pp. 19–39.
- Zimmerman, E. (2003). Play as research: The iterative design process.
Other Available Readings
- Erickson, T. (2000). Lingua francas for design: Sacred places and pattern languages.
- Flanagan, M., Nissenbaum, H., Belman, J., & Diamond, J. (2007). A method for discovering values in digital games. To be presented at the annual conference of the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA), Tokyo, Japan.
- VAP FAQ & Quick Reference
- Grow-a-game! cards overview
- Grow-a-game! cards instructions
- Printable set of Grow-a-Game Cards (this may take a while…)
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