G4C2008: values at play lunch workshop

At lunch, Mary Flanagan walked us through a very simplified version of the Values at Play process. Each table of participants picked one “Value” card and then identified existing games that highlight that particular value. (Ours was “Privacy” — we came up with such games as poker and just about every other card game). This warmup was to help flex our minds around the ubiquitous presence of values in games. Then we drew a second card naming an existing game which we were to mod to include the value from Card 1 (we drew “Monopoly”).

Some of the designs I found most interesting coming out of this very brief process (maybe 10 minutes) explored the tensions around each value (e.g. setting up incentives to defect from cooperation to build conflict over the value). We didn’t come to a proposal for modding Monopoly to address privacy, but we played with mechanisms where both protecting and revealing information would give the player strategic advantages. Perhaps each player has a secret goal that, if accomplished, would grant that player bonus points at the end.

I found the Values @ Play process fascinating and rich, and hope to be able to play with it at one of our upcoming meetings.