Video: Lessons learned from trying to gamify death
The Game Developers Conference is traditionally a place where devs gather to get excited about the potential of games. But what are the hard limits to how far games can go?
At GDC 2012, game dev Margaret Robertson explained how, in what might be the hardest game design challenge ever, UK studio Hide&Seek was asked to make a documentary game about the discovery of a corpse in a busy London block of flats: a woman had lain dead for three years without being found, without ever having been reported missing. She was 37 years old.
How does someone fall through the cracks, despite having family, friends and neighbors? And how do you make a game about a real woman's death without producing something crass, simplistic or libelous? Robertson told the story of how she and her colleagues tried and failed, and of the fundamental contradiction that they discovered at the heart of gamification.
It wasn't as bleak as it sounds, and it offered a lot of interesting one-of-a-kind insights into the nature of games and why people play them.
It's an insightful talk that's worth watching, so developers shouldn't miss the opportunity to do so now that it's freely available on the official GDC YouTube channel!
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