I’ve decided to split this post into several parts so that it can be clear to me if and when I use them while implementing my game. Serious games are in my view harder to implement than regular style games because they have two main aspects: the game aspect and the information aspect. Both must be structured in a way that contribute to a seamless experience. The game I’m hoping to design is about illiteracy and illiterate people (mainly in Egypt).
The main audience for this game will be my friends in class and generally people who received a good education. The obvious reason is that people who can’t read/write won’t really benefit from the game, and also because the aim targets educated people in telling them more about the aspects of illiteracy.
The game will have a few main goals including:
- Raising awareness about the daily struggles that people who can’t read/write face
- Highlight the importance of receiving an education that promotes reading for all age groups
- Provide statistics and information about literacy rate in Egypt and to emphasize the impacts of illiteracy on the small and large scale
- Have people think about their role and how the channels of contribution that they can be part of to help eradicate illiteracy
I want to collect information in a variety of methods. My hope is to be able to talk with a person who is at least semi literate (meaning that they know the alphabet but can’t exactly read fluently). I’ve managed to catch some statistics from here , here and here.
There’s an interesting story/article that I read over here and here. Examples of literacy campaigns around Egypt here, here and here.
The game structure could be divided into 3 parts: the first having some scenarios that demonstrate the daily challenges that illiterate people face, from not being able to read basic signs to other things .. This could be done by presenting the gamer with unknown symbols and asking them to respond to them with in the context of the scenario(Scenarios can include, needing to read a road sign, a grocery list, price tags/product labels etc). The information presented in this section would include statistics and information about the struggles of illiterate people to go about their daily life.
The second part could be focused on the game character facing serious consequences due to their illiteracy and deciding to join a literacy class (although the gamer has the ability to choose not to). Some scenarios could come in here to demonstrate that these classes are usually full and then the information about illiteracy rates.
The third part would revolve around the fact that the illiterate person might have received some sort of assistance with reading and writing but still might not be able to fluently read things, or acknowledge information quickly. Here, information will presented to highlight the importance of reading-based education. Then towards the end, something about how the gamer can help with the issue of illiteracy in general.
It might be a challenge to have a scoring system for such a game, but feedback on the choices that the gamer is making could be provided after each choice or after the game is played til the end.
Creating sophisticated scenarios and well rounded choices will depend on the depth of my research and if I can manage to get hold of a person who can tell me their story, and I believe this is the hardest part. I also made a note to start looking for images and gifs because I know I will need to incorporate those into my prototype.