Game Changer Chicago Design Lab's learning design specialist Amanda Dittami talks about the progress of GCC's new game for youth, A Day in the Life.
For the past couple of weeks the Game Changer Chicago Design Lab (GCC) has been visiting high schools on the South Side to get inspiration for one of our upcoming games, A Day in the Life.
A Day in the Life is a single player narrative-driven game where the player experiences a reoccurring day of high school. The player has a limited time during each playthrough and once time runs out, the game starts back at the beginning. This feature helps us stress one of our main learning objectives: to convey the importance of decision-making and how those decisions affect the player’s self as well as other characters and world itself.
A Day in the Life will be a dialogue heavy game, similar to the play-style of The Walking Dead. This format gives us an opportunity to tell meaningful stories and touch on a wide-range of topics. SPOILER: Instead of capturing the essence of a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies, we are trying to capture a day in the life of high school students in an urban setting. In order to incorporate relevant and realistic stories, we have been visiting high schools and asking high school students directly what is on their minds.
To help create a comfortable environment, GCC came up with a small narrative-building game. In this game, the youth work together to come up with topics, build a scene and characters around that topic, and play out actions by the characters they created. After the game, we take time to ask the youth how these stories relate to their real life experiences. Some topics have included bullying, homophobia, sex, youth violence, relationships, and more. Along with the game, we have also stressed the importance of having their voices heard. The youth have really jumped on this opportunity, giving us a great deal of inspiration.
Visiting and interacting with the youth gives us a better idea of who our target audience is. This method will also allow us to move beyond the clichéd high school characters that are so often portrayed in media. Hearing what the youth have to say gives us the opportunity to create an experience that resonates with our target audience. Along with a more realistic game experience, we are also giving youth the opportunity to help create a game. We are honored by the schools who have participated and to the students who have been so enthusiastic and open.
Thanks to the following schools who have participated in A Day in the Life workshops:
- Perspectives/IIT Math and Science Academy
- Perspectives High School of Technology
- Collins Academy High School
- Baker College Prep
If your school is interested in a GCC visit, please email Amanda @ email@example.com.
Game Changer Chicago Design Lab can offer participating schools and youth credits in the game.
A Day in the Life team:
- Amanda Dittami
- Ashlyn Sparrow
- James Taylor
- Keith Wilson
- Lena Dickinson
- Megan Macklin
- Dr. Melissa Gilliam
- Dr. Patrick Jagoda
- Philip Ehrenberg
- Ragnar Anderson