Games can change not only what people know, but also what they think and how they behave. In this talk, Daniela De Angeli will discuss the design of two games with social purposes: Endless Blitz and Umschlagplatz '43. The games were designed following the concept of Agonism, a memory studies theory that suggests social reflection can be stimulated through unsettling juxtapositions and the understanding of different perspectives (e.g. both victims and perpetrators). In Endless Blitz, players can be either a bomber or an evacuation officer during a bombing blitz. In Umschlagplatz '43, players can choose among three characters waiting to be deported in a concentration camp. The gameplay forces players to engage with multiple social agents and their motivations, with the intention of promoting reflection on the past in order to impact the present. The games also frame narratives as decisions and consequences that are unsettling for the player. Each choice has a consequence, although some of these consequences are not immediately obvious, forcing them to reflect upon their actions once a decision is made. In this way, players are forced to face challenges and make difficult choices that they would not have to in their regular life.
Daniela de Angeli is a postdoctoral researcher in human computer interaction, cultural heritage, games and memory studies at the University of Bath. She has worked as a web, graphic and interaction designer with museums in the USA, Italy and UK. She has a Masters degree in Technology Enhanced Communication for Cultural Heritage from the University of Lugano, Switzerland and a second Masters degree in Media Arts and Computer Science from New Mexico Highlands University, USA. During her doctorate at the Centre for Digital Entertainment at the University of Bath in UK, she explored how authenticity and entertainment can coexist in contemporary museums through game creation and game play. She is currently investigating the use of games to stimulate dialogue and social reflection in difficult heritage sites.
Dr Daniela De Angeli
Research Associate at University of Bath
Founder of BaCH Network