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#6372503 Jul 10, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Cataclysmic
128 Posts
Granted, I didn't spend hours and hours on it, but I did spend some time during lunch today playing it, and I managed to kill off the entire family and the camp. I was not successful in getting water.
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Feel free to call me "AK"
Blog: http://idstuff.blogspot.com
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/koutropoulos
@koutropoulos
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#6372766 Jul 10, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Initiate
38 Posts
I've lost 2 children to the militia and never found water...I will try again.
~Neemana
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#6373833 Jul 10, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Initiate
19 Posts
The only action that you seemed to be able to do was to search for water. I tried various times, but always got killed. Perhaps that was the point of the game.
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#6377223 Jul 11, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Guides
561 Posts
The goal of that game is the game is really un-winable. That is the point. The dangers of being a refugee, I did have students get water, and start to build a shelter, and actually get wood, but the are big gamer and said you "Have to hide a lot." Read my post under the Darfur is Dying game. My students played it on July 10th, that was a total of 65 students (three classes, adult community college students).
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#6377227 Jul 11, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Cataclysmic
128 Posts
I was thinking about that too, the futility of the game - but for some reason I have a hard time swallowing it

#6373833 anciana wrote:

The only action that you seemed to be able to do was to search for water. I tried various times, but always got killed. Perhaps that was the point of the game.

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Feel free to call me "AK"
Blog: http://idstuff.blogspot.com
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/koutropoulos
@koutropoulos
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#6378000 Jul 11, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Guides
111 Posts
I was able to bring back the water, but honestly the game bored me too much to continue playing after that. As I told grasshopper98, basically you just have to hide a lot and have patience.
Here's to all the educated people who don't hate games!
-
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#6378755 Jul 11, 2012 at 06:06 PM
Initiate
7 Posts
Hi all,
I found this game very confronting in so many ways. Being this is based on real-life scenarios it is hard to think that this is what they really have to face. I killed off the mother before I reached water and then I used the oldest child and managed to get the water after much hiding but I couldn't get the water back without getting caught by the militia. It was very hard and quite an intense game situation. Would you keep playing a game like that? It's interesting but I don't know if I would play it over and over to try and win it for 'fun'. However, a very good game to use in subjects like society and culture, geography etc in school as it deals with current sociological and cultural issues in the world. A well-created game and resource.

Kristina
Blog (where I will blog about this MOOC): www.kristinahollis.wordpress.com

Twitter: @anitsirk17
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#6378983 Jul 11, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Initiate
4 Posts
This game did seem to be quite difficult. I never got to the water and had a hard time doing anything in the village (I couldn't access any of the question marks). As stated by another, I don't know if I'd keep playing the game for fun - since it is so depressing. But it definitely makes you think of the poor people over there!
AstroFukuda
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#6379180 Jul 11, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Initiate
1 Post
#6372503 akoutropoulos wrote:

Granted, I didn't spend hours and hours on it, but I did spend some time during lunch today playing it, and I managed to kill off the entire family and the camp. I was not successful in getting water.



I was not successful getting water either. I tried boy and 2 girls, but once I got into camp it was a little confusing what I was actually supposed to do. Mostly I clicked on ?'s and read today. Will try again.
Manager of Social Media for ANSYS, Inc.
Responsible for training employees in the how-to participate in Social Media Channels and the value it brings.
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#6381737 Jul 12, 2012 at 11:23 AM
Cataclysmic
128 Posts
The notion of Flow (http://www.ted.com/talks/mihaly_csikszentmihalyi_on_flow.html) comes to mind. If a task is too easy we get bored. If it's too hard we get discouraged (or angry, or bored, or all of the above). There needs to be something that's "just right" (think goldilocks) in order to keep us going with any task

#6378755 SuperStina wrote:

Hi all,
I found this game very confronting in so many ways. Being this is based on real-life scenarios it is hard to think that this is what they really have to face. I killed off the mother before I reached water and then I used the oldest child and managed to get the water after much hiding but I couldn't get the water back without getting caught by the militia. It was very hard and quite an intense game situation. Would you keep playing a game like that? It's interesting but I don't know if I would play it over and over to try and win it for 'fun'. However, a very good game to use in subjects like society and culture, geography etc in school as it deals with current sociological and cultural issues in the world. A well-created game and resource.

Kristina

--------
Feel free to call me "AK"
Blog: http://idstuff.blogspot.com
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/koutropoulos
@koutropoulos
+0
#6383134 Jul 12, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Guides
82 Posts
I think a lot here might depend upon how you define "success." This isn't your normal task-oriented game, at least not at first. At the outset, when your job is to bring water back, is that how you define "success"?

The thing is, I don't. I would say that if you have a strong sense of how vulnerable these children are, and how vulnerable these families are, and how terrifying it can be to be hunted, then this game was successful and you successfully absorbed the lesson the game intends to teach.

You may even have a deeper understanding of the role of water -- and drought -- in conflict.

The game, as you probably saw, is divided into two parts. Part one is the one that delivers the emotional and moral punch. Part two -- sustaining a community once you return with water, isn't as absorbing. I don't think it's really all that well-conceived, unless you're preparing to study survival strategies of communities in drought-stricken regions of Africa.

Put another way -- the life-and-death scenarios of games are frequently really absorbing. The task-oriented games can be, but the design work has to be more carefully done. I haven't played Farmville, but for whatever reason, that game really gets people going in a way that Darfur is Dying Part 2 does not!

Beth
Beth Davies-Stofka, Ph.D.
twitter: eirwenes
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#6385957 Jul 13, 2012 at 10:08 AM
Cataclysmic
128 Posts
You are right, it really depends on how you measure success.
I don't know what the intent of the designers was, but I hope that it was made with the intent to be supplemented by some sort of lecture, discussion, research paper writing (or all of the above). It was a nice game, it made me think, but the intended audience (middle and high school I would guess) is already self-absorbed (at least in our western context) and games that are too hard by design (or too preachy) fall on deaf ears. As you said, not that well conceived :)

#6383134 Beth wrote:

I think a lot here might depend upon how you define "success." This isn't your normal task-oriented game, at least not at first. At the outset, when your job is to bring water back, is that how you define "success"?

The thing is, I don't. I would say that if you have a strong sense of how vulnerable these children are, and how vulnerable these families are, and how terrifying it can be to be hunted, then this game was successful and you successfully absorbed the lesson the game intends to teach.

You may even have a deeper understanding of the role of water -- and drought -- in conflict.

The game, as you probably saw, is divided into two parts. Part one is the one that delivers the emotional and moral punch. Part two -- sustaining a community once you return with water, isn't as absorbing. I don't think it's really all that well-conceived, unless you're preparing to study survival strategies of communities in drought-stricken regions of Africa.

Put another way -- the life-and-death scenarios of games are frequently really absorbing. The task-oriented games can be, but the design work has to be more carefully done. I haven't played Farmville, but for whatever reason, that game really gets people going in a way that Darfur is Dying Part 2 does not!

Beth

--------
Feel free to call me "AK"
Blog: http://idstuff.blogspot.com
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/koutropoulos
@koutropoulos
+0
#6391599 Jul 14, 2012 at 06:44 PM · Edited 7 years ago
Consigliere
61 Posts
I stated in a separate post that I managed to get water twice with the 13 year old (but got the 14 year old who I started with captured).

This game is really depressing, but I would definitely ask students to play this game and write a reflective piece on what the main argument of the game is.

The end screenshot certainly conveys the game's main argument that the US must take action to assist in the survival of the Darfur People.

See screenshot here:
http://flic.kr/p/cx1kkG

I think it's a very powerful game that satisfies the "Big G" game requirements that a game should address the worldly concerns outside of itself, according to Dr. James Paul Gee:

"Jim Gee's June 20th Keynote from Games for Change"
http://new.livestream.com/g4c/jamespaulgee
Mind Erasure (aka Sherry Jones)
See my Visual Bio!!
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#6392243 Jul 14, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Initiate
9 Posts
I was able to successfully forage for water and return to camp, only to have my water and supplies destroyed by the Militia. There is no winning in a game that is designed to raise awareness of a terrible civil conflict. Here are my thoughts on my experiences. http://wp.me/p1fqr9-Ej
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#6395222 Jul 15, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Initiate
5 Posts
I also managed to kill the whole family and felt so bad about it. First I sent the boys and then the father and then rest of the family, no water. I spent the time mostly hiding behind every rock. The game is really an eye-opener, especially the feedback about my missions were devastating; no matter what I did, there was not a single winner. I would definitely use the game in the future in a class of a bit older pupils, probably include discussions about Darfur and human rights in general etc. I really liked the way it made me understand that getting water, something so simple and basic to us, is not only a task but a life threatening mission in Darfur. Also, the game made it more real than a chapter in a book.
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#6396717 Jul 15, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Initiate
19 Posts
I managed to get water after a couple of failed attempts but was then rather unclear about where to take it or what to do next in the village. (Though I will admit, I didn't persevere)

I also felt a certain discomfort with the subject matter - which I guess is the point - that didn't encourage me to press on in my lunchbreak. In the right space, I'd say I'd give this more of a go. It might be nice though if the village goals/targets stood out a little more.

On a side-note, I played a very powerful serious game about the Rwanda conflict a few years back - very simple with an interesting gaming mechanic. You play as a mother trying to quiet her baby with soft singing (you type the letters of the song rhythmically) on a night that Hutu soldiers have come to raid your community. Very simple but quite moving.

http://www.gamesforchange.org/play/hush/
My (occasional but getting better) edugaming blog: www.gamerlearner.com
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#6396777 Jul 15, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Guides
82 Posts
Hush is an exceptionally distressing game! Obviously the Rwandan genocide already happened, and that atrocious slaughter is over, even if the repercussions continue. I don't think that Hush demands political intervention from a player so much as it ingeniously reproduces the experience for you.

Both games, Darfur is Dying and Hush, came from the MFA program at USC. Susana Ruiz created Darfur is Dying, and she was invited to speak on Capitol Hill in 2006.

Hush came after, developed by Jamie Antonisse and Devon Johnson, and I think it built on Ruiz' successes in Part 1 of her game. I didn't find an interview with them, but my Google search was very casual. You might find more.

I did find a couple of PDF's concerning the design of games for empathy:

Empathy Game Design by Lauren Romano

Designing Games to Foster Empathy by Jonathan Belman and Mary Flanagan

I'll come back and read those later, but my question still nags me: who is the audience for these games, and who should be?

Beth

Beth Davies-Stofka, Ph.D.
twitter: eirwenes
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