Are you thirsty? Final draft

I modified this game based on the comments of several professors and students, but unfortunately, I couldn’t address all of their comments due to time constraints and limited ideas. Some of the comments suggested that the game could be longer but I ran out of scenarios to add that would be specific to the water problem and tragic enough, only thing left would be washing clothes and dishes and cooking. However, I didn’t feel the need to prolong the game with the kind of scenarios that wouldn’t get the empathy of the player or would just add some tragic endings. The link to the previous post:

If I had more time I would have included more scenarios and maybe did a small video addressing the issue. I would have done more research about the issue to fully understand and make the players understand the importance of the issue.

While making this game, I learned that there are a lot of issues in the world that needs more awareness. They affect a lot of lives greatly. Sadly, most of the effects are negative but we need to address them in order to be able to come up with a solution. This game made me live the extreme life of those who suffer for water, something I would have considered living through. I think that these narrative games are probably the most important assignment we had so far. This is the most effective method to learn about empathy.

You can play the Final draft here


Are you thirsty? Draft 1

Are you thirsty is a narrative game about water crisis in Africa. People living in tjese places suffer a lot for what we consider norrmal. This game will try to simulate some of the horrors they go through in their daily lives.

You can play the game here

Do you have enough information?

Simple information is taken for granted

nowadays because it is super easy to

get. However, this amount of useful

information is the cornerstone for a

better society. If the information we

need were to be inaccessible in our

society, then this society is not

democratic. For example, the landlord

responsibilities towards his/her

tennents. If the tenants didn’t know

their rights, the landlord can be

authoritarian with them.

That’s why democracy cannot exist

without information equity.

Personal agency and social capital

are two different but related terms.

Both of them are means of getting

information about a certain matter

but through different resources.

Personal agency is affected by

decisions made by the government

and corporate actions. On the other

hand, social capital is impacted by

our social network. Weblining is a

term that means treating people based

on their digital selves. For example,

the ads on social media. Information

equity is not just about all people having

the same kind of access to information,

but rather about people having access

to the information they can understand

and use.

Redlining is a set of policies and IT

practices which creates boundaries on

the access of information. One of the

consequences of redlining is that

education turns to job training such as

community colleges. Redlining is clearly

a huge problem but it is not recognised

because the “higher level” education isn’t

affected by it as well as many students

have internet access byond campus.

The danger of redlining is that

policymakers decide what is appropriate

for a certain group and what is not.

Software engineers are not innocent

also, because they are the ones who

design filters and create the redlining.

It is true that they are just doing their jobs

but they must notice what is ethical and

what is not as not everything that is legal

is ethical and vice versa.

After reading those two articles,

I remembered many situations where

more information would have helped me

greatly. For instance, when I applied to

join AUC, the admission lady told me

that it’s “better” to go in as an undeclared

student when my high school grades

were sufficient enough for my major of

choice. I did not know that back then,

I had no one to ask so I just had to trust

her. Another example but this time about

filtering, Egyptian government decided to

block certain websites as they promote

“fake news”. Here we see that

policymakers decide what is good and

what is bad based on what they think.

I conducted a small survey where I asked

9 of my friends if they have ever heard

of the term information equity. 7 out of 9

said no and only 2 said yes. The fact that

people don’t even know about information

equity proves that we are far far away

from achieving it. It’d be a great start to

make the term more popular so that

people would know the importance of

information and how to use it.

Maybe then we would be on the right track

for achieving information equity.

Works cited

Game Idea

My choice is a bit redundant but I really think there can be a lot more done about it. Eager to know what it is? It is something that billions, yes you read that right, of people suffer from especially in poor countries. Surprise surprise, it is water.The horrors that these people go through to get something that’s available to all of us are unimaginable. In my narrative game I’ll try to have some real life scenarios about these horros. These scenarios are coming from documentaries, articles, and interviews that were conducted with people from these areas. As a start, let’s take a look at some basic scenarios that were mentioned in a documentary I saw 3 years ago about the topic:

What time of day are you getting your water? Night or day

There are 2 water sources one of which you’re sure that it is clean but it’s twice the price and 3 times the destination of the other one you’re not so sure about its cleanliness. Which one are you choosing close or far? Remember 6 to 8 million die every year from contaminated water

There’s a certain amount of water you and your family have to drink daily and some water for the bathroom while you have only limited amount, what’re you going to do? Remember you’re not just thirsty youre also poor.

There’s also a certain amount you must spend on hygiene (shower) or there will be dangerous consequences. Remember choose wisely or you might end up infected or worse.

That’s all I came up with till now. There would be a donation link at every possible ending. There will also be some pics that set the experience, and definitely more scenarios.

This is the donation link:

Some of the info mentioned above is from this site

CLT reflection

I attended a workshop on Monday

March 4th titled “Transforming

Learning Environments via Student

Partnership” It was about getting both

students and faculty to work together to

enhance the learning experience.

Since my group was all faculty but me,

I got a pretty good idea about how

professors think. They’re always between

either including students in the learning

experience rather than just being lectured

at, or tgey think students are not mature

enough or don’t have a previous experience

that would qualify them to be their partners.

An example said by one of the professos

in my group was, she said that she was

teaching a 400 level capstone history

course and wanted to make the

students partners in the learning

experience, but unfortunately,

none of them has studied history before.

Therefore, they have no idea how to

choose topics that are of great value

to them. However, she decided to make

them partners on a smaller scale such

as choosing where they have the class,

modifying some deadlines, and the

format they see best in which they’d be

taught(similar to this course). 2 other

professors were teaching scientific thinking.

They decided to add a last chapter on

a topic the students chose by a vote.

Some of these topics include but not

limited to abortion, space, and public health.

The students choose the most interesting to

them by voting and have the last 3 lectures

to learn more about the topic. We also had

a small discussion about the grades,

who’s interested in the grade and how

can it affect the learning process.

I felt like I have a seat at the table.

If more professors do that, consider

the students as partners, the learning

experience would be much better.

This workshop actually made me

think about omr more carrer path

which is academia. Im order to make a

difference, there has to be a major

contribution. That’s why if more

profs are making the students partners,

we’d witness a whole new generation

that is responsible for its own learning,

has great team work skills, and respects

all opinions around it. I think the workshop

could have been more focused by having

certain questions that would initiate the

discussion at every table like we did with the

first question, the what can change

in the major or university in general to

make the learning experience better.

The google doc was a great idea,

since we didn’t get to hear from every

table and would convey our message

to people abroad.

Narrative Games

I’d like to start by saying I only played 5 games and there’s a reason for that but will be mentioned later. The first game was spent, I felt the pain of having life come at you with all its bad aspects. I even got some of my friends to play it, one of them was a second away from breaking his phone. To be honest, I wanted to break mine too. The only reason I didn’t was probably because I was in class. The game is unbelievably realistic. I know this sounds like I have no suggestions to improve it but the game really come at you hard. The more bleak it gets, you’d think it will be better but it never is. The tough decisions you have to make in this game really show who you are sinc people show their true self in the toughest of situations. If you played this game and still have no empathy for the less fortunate, you’re probably either a robot or dead inside.

The 2nd game was BBC Syrian refugees. Having dealt directly with some refugees, I know the “horrors” they go through. It was a great awareness “campaign” but honestly I didn’t feel that strongly about it as I did playing spent. The game I think should have more “tough” interactions to make people really invested in helping. The way it’s designed now in my opinion would just make people empathize for the duration of the game and that’s it. Till this point, 2 weeks after playing spent I still think about my decisions. That’s how BBC should be. It has to stick in people’s minds.

The 3rd game was bad news. This game tries to bring the evil out of you. Studying media taught me the effect of fake news. The true reason behind people reporting fake news, that I didn’t get until playing this game. When you have the option to benefit from something that wouldn’t affect you badly, you’d probably do it. Even though you know it’s wrong, but philosophically speaking, humans are selfish. That’s why theft exists. Going back to the game, it should’ve been more convincing to make you do the bad thing. Getting dragged to the wrong side of the law is appealing but if shown right. Otherwise, people would just avoid it because it is wrong. I know it doesn’t make much sense, but if bad is presented right, it’d be more attractive than right presented right. That’s why I think the game should’ve worked a bit more in presenting the bad right.

The 4th game was liyla. I really enjoyed playing that game even though it’s sad. It taught me about the terrible side of war as if I’ve witnessed a world war myself. I think it’s done as well as spent. growing up seeing all the horrible stuff in Palestine, Syria, and Libya really shaped my thinking about how bad war is. However, this game made me live through war myself.

Before getting to the 5th game, the reason I only played 5 not 6 is because no normal person can handle all this depressing dose of real problems faced by many in our time. That being said, I couldn’t go through with playing my last game because I know that most narrative games try to raise awareness for an issue which is most likely more depressing.

No wonder that my final game would be Depression Quest. I can’t begin to describe how real this game felt. Playing it made me live one of the worst years of my life. Even though there were parts of the game where some of the options were not selectable, I wanted to select the selectable option itself because in reality that’s how I’d behave in those situations. Honestly, that’s how I did behave in those situations. 99% of the game is real life situations that I went through myself. I can’t imagine that people who developed this game were not depressed at some point of their lives. The thing is about depression no matter how much you read about it, you don’t know anything about till you go through it, god forbid, yourself. My suggestions to enhance this game are useless because no matter how realistic it may seem, it can’t be felt. Depression especially, in my opinion, is something you sympathize with not empathize. You can just justify the acts of a depressed person by simply saying he’s/she’s depressed. No matter how much you say you can understand what a depressed person goes through without having prior experience yourself, you’re MISTAKEN.

Spent and depression quest are the most perfectly designed, in my opinion, and it is clear in my description of the two. Spent is number 2 because it can make you live the game, and have empathy for whoever goes through their daily lives like this. the first place award goes to, no surprise, depression quest. This is because, it showed situations from real life that all of us went through at least one of them. If you hadn’t gone through any of these situations, you’d think that they aren’t realistic, but I assure you my lucky friend they are REAL.

*Just a footnote, I don’t use any multimedia because I feel I can express myself well enough in writing.*