Great in Theory, Could be Better in Practice…

So I after playing the socially conscious games, I was intrigued but a bit confused still. I found the Darfur game to be the most confusing. I don’t know if it was just me, but I ran, and ran, and ran, and ran, and ran, and ran. But there was no where to run to? Maybe it was because after four minutes of running in one direction with no change of scenery/landscape other than outpacing the janjaweed’s car I decided to change direction and ended up being caught. But who’s to say. I felt like there was no way to get to the water. No one told me where the water was or showed me how to collect it. And when I did try to hide, the Janjaweed found me hiding behind my barrel that I was supposed to put water in. I understand that this may be very close to the situation in Darfur. You are a sitting duck if caught by the Janjaweed while away from your family out collecting water, but there was no sort of explanation to go with it so I wasn’t sure if I was even playing it right or if I was just terrible at the game. A game with a social impact needs to have a message attached. I didn’t play until the end of the game, I’m not even certain there is any one particular ending, but I found it interesting none-the-less. The second game, Stop Disasters, ┬áhad more of a sim city feel to it. I found I was frustrated with this game because I have no knowledge of floods and don’t know how to protect against them. I put up enough housing for all the people in my town, yet 4 of them died anyway. I think if maybe there was a little information prior to the game play, people would learn something about their own preparation for themselves and their communities. That could be a valuable asset to any community.

I think the socially conscious games have a good idea, but need to be better implemented or executed. If there is more of an explaination it would go a lot farther for the cause. I understand it’s still a game. But Carmen Sandiago NEEDS the information in order to be as successful as it is. Make it a learning game like Where in the World is Carmen Sandiago and you’re set.

One thought on “Great in Theory, Could be Better in Practice…

  1. ijohnson

    Getting water is actually relatively easy I think; it’s easier than the camp mechanic anyway. It tells you to go northwest, which means you go up and left, and then you get the jug and bring it back, occasionally hiding when you see the Janjaweed. I did it several times successfully. Managing to keep water to the farms seems harder, and I got frustrated because I couldn’t figure out what the deal was with the clinic or the “bricks” area. I doubt that it is even possible to win the game without taking action as well.

    I agree, though, that this implementation is less compelling than it could be. It can’t be a blast, as that would defeat the point, but it could be better than it is.

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