Game 1: Spent
Game 2: Syrian Journey: Choose your own escape route
Game 3: KNOW YOURSELF
Game 4: Orphan By Heart
Game 5: Street-Sweeper
Game 6: Being under the influence
The “spent” game was the longest and honestly my favorite because it made me feel like I was the actual person making the decisions therefore I cared more about the outcomes and the following decisions. I was constantly choosing between essentials such as insurance and my kid as well as lying and causing a colleague to be fired. The decisions made were for survival and not leisure and honestly, the situation the game put me in made me act as if I was in survival mode. For example when lying would allow me to keep my job but cause a colleague to lose their job, while they must take care of themselves and 2 children. As Khaled,Ii would never do such a thing, however, in the game I had to. The game was very effective at creating a sense of connection between myself and the character which allowed me to feel their experiences. Thus I am now able to be very sympathetic to those less privileged, living in instability and no security. And it reminds me of how privileged I am.
The “Syrian Journey: Choose your own escape route” game was the most frustrating game of them all because it took so many attempts for me to reach Europe safely. For each turn, I would either find so many obstacles that lead to my death and I felt extremely helpless at every choice. What I liked about the game is that there are so many ways to fail and therefore the player becomes frustrated because they want. Therefore the player feels some frustration and although it does’nt come close to that experienced by the actual refugees, the player feels some connection. The game can be improved if it was not reliant on sketches and text, however the addition of pictures giving the player a better understanding of what happens to the refugees.
The “know yourself” game was very eye-opening because although i consider myself as anon-judgementall person i was finding myself falling into the trap where i was assuming the worst for the people in the examples and none of my assumptions were even close to the truth. This game reminded me that you never know what someone is going through or what theyre experiencing and so we should not make assumptions. What i learned we are all judgmental. The only improvement to the game was that when it calls the player out for picking the irrational assumption they may have not picked it since the default response is calling out the player. It needs improvement because it attacks the player and maybe some people will not react so well.
The overwhelming feeling from the “orphan by heart” game was honestly feeling very thankful because of how privileged I am. reminds me how privileged I am and things that I considered as basic such as quality time and fun were things I took for granted although unfortunately, they are not for so many. The game focuses on all the privileges that orphans miss and I felt very sympathetic for the orphans who do not have the same privileges as I do, the basic privileges not even those that are unnecessary. It’s very sad because one rarely considers the lives of orphans and unfortunately all the things, I took for granted, family, friends, gifts, and even quality fun time. These are all not available for these kids and honestly, it makes me very sad that many orphans and children cannot experience joy, an emotion I was very lucky to enjoy, an emotion I took for granted. I reflected on my life and became extremely thankful for the life I am living.
The “streem-sweeper” game made me feel extremely weak because the sweeper has no power in terms of their job. I had no security, I could get fired any time, I couldn’t negotiate even for my own rights such as with the trash can. I can’t voice my opinion at risk of being fired. The main feeling was helplessness because I couldn’t improve anything in my life or express myself because it would lead to being fired. I realized that there is no protection whatsoever for these people because there is a large supply of the less fortunate. I felt the game was quite short and therefore left the player with no strong sympathy for the street sweeper and what he goes through. highlighting other aspects of the street sweeper’s life would be effective in doing so.
The “being under the influence” game shows how it feels to be drunk and out of control and although it doesn’t really show the extent of being under the influence as well as the many consequences, I felt what the game was designed to show. The main idea is that there are no good choices, both are terrible and you pick the best out of the 2 which leads to even worse outcomes. Highlighting how being under the influence further ruins your life by leading to more bad decisions. Similar to most of the other games, I felt helpless and against a wall because the game forces you to choose between 2 paths and both paths are bad and it’s out of your control. The game needs to improve the connection between the player and the character in the game in order for myself and others to truly feel helpless and out of control in order to understand the experience.
In the end what I found that was prevalent in all the games was how they all alluded to emotions. Although they were all radically different, exploring different topics. The theme of helplessness and struggle were all prevalent, which i found very interesting that they all used emotion rather than facts in order to connect with the player, especially since i feel people are more reactive to emotions rather than facts and statistics. This main similarity was important in my understanding of the games and the stories the games told.