This week, I answered some questions, outlined my thesis, met with my advisor, and designed conflicts based on my game’s curriculum.

Why, What if, and How

I listened to an episode of Unmistakeable Creative Podcast called “Asking A More Beautiful Question With Warren Berger”. Afterward, I answered some important questions. My answers were all quite blunt, to be honest. I didn’t find myself inspired to change the project, but the exercise was still helpful.

Why… is your focus a problem?

It’s a problem because people are being poorly equipped for adulthood.

Why… are you solving the challenge this way?

I’m solving it this way because games are a fun way to educate people.

What if… you tried solving it in other ways?

Many other ways already exist. There are sex-positive, educational podcasts. I know of several blogs and webcomics that cover the topic well. Sex-positive events (a la Slut Walk) exist across the country. However, good games about sex are still quite rare.

The only other things I could think of are maybe a web series or conference.

How… do you make it real?

Get help from others, continue researching and working to build the game.

If I went with a web series, I’d probably make a little animated series using Adobe Premiere.

A conference could go wrong in so many ways, but I’d focus on organizing the event as a set of roundtables about sex, religion, and society.

In the end, I still want to make a game about the subject, but a web series or conference could be interesting in the future.

Thesis statement, outline, & mind map

I updated my thesis statement link but forgot to post it here. Here it is!

You’ve seen the curriculum for my game before:

Gameplay topics diagram

I created an outline based on the above and my previous thesis paper drafts. The short version is below. You can read the full, expanded version as a PDF.

Short outline

  1. Introduction
  2. Religion, society, and sex
  3. Sex-positive sex education through games
  4. The game - structure, characters, and levels
  5. Conclusion

Each topic will have contain several subtopics. I’ll expand on that next week.

Mind map

I also updated my mind map, as suggested by my thesis professor: Gameplay topics diagram

Advisor meetings

My calendar now has 3 meetings with Frank Lantz’s name on it for the next few months! Hurrah! That was easier than expected.

RA Survey & information-gathering

I’m running a survey for RAs since my game is centered around the life of an RA. At this time, 31 people have responded to it. I’m hoping to get that to fifty by Friday. Synthesized data to come soon!

I’ll also be meeting with a few people to question them more in-depth about their experiences. The plan is to get enough qualitative information to create stories that are plausible. In addition, I’ve been poking at #RAlife and #RAproblems on Twitter. Funny stuff.

Character + game design ideation

I spent time fleshing out the conflicts characters will have in the game. In addition, I attached it some important pieces of game design. Here are my notes, grabbed straight from Evernote! I’m still working on labeling the characters’ conflicts as environmental, interpersonal, or personal.

Class 1: Health & Human Development (benefits & safe sex)

3 characters, 26 cards with 1 symbol

  • sexual frustration (personal)
  • hookups (interpersonal)
  • unsure of whether or not to have sex (interpersonal)

Class 2: Neuropsychology of Behavior (mind)

4 characters, 26 cards with 2 symbols

  • low self-esteem and body image (personal)
  • dealing with thoughts about sex (personal)
  • gender identity (personal)
  • sexuality (personal)

Class 3: Human Genetics & Biology (body & safe sex)

5 characters, 52 cards with 2 symbols

  • mouth
  • chest
  • butt
  • genitals
  • hygiene

Class 4:Writing Seminar: Love and Trouble (kinds)

6 characters, 52 cards with 3 symbols

  • masturbation - finding a place (environmental)
  • masturbation - partner’s frustration
  • oral sex
  • anal sex
  • vaginal sex
  • other kinds of sex

7 characters, 52 cards with 3 symbols

  • asking for sex (interpersonal)
  • saying yes to sex (interpersonal)
  • being comfortable saying no (personal)
  • dealing with rejection (personal)
  • drinking & consent (interpersonal)
  • sexual assault (interpersonal)
  • nonverbal consent (interpersonal)

Class 6: Anthropology (society) - taken from here

7 characters, 52 cards with 4 symbols

  • respecting someone else’s sexual values
  • getting “sexiled” (interpersonal)
  • respecting someone’s gender identity
  • respecting someone’s sexuality
  • the media & religion’s effects
  • racial stereotypes
  • gender stereotypes
  • sexuality stereotypes

Later, gator!