Objective Of Project
This project was designed to produce a game design document for a Conflict Transformation Game based in and around Kosovo that should include the following: promotion of tourism, a platform for multinational voices on post-war memories, 'hidden' heritage sites, and accessibility to all audiences, with a particular focus on engaging with young people.
Prosocial Games are those which encourage non-violent positive behaviours, which have been found to promote positive behaviours outside of the game space; hence this project aims to utilize gaming to promote Conflict Transformation within Kosovo. Conflict Transformation is the process of transforming ethnical conflicts into peaceful outcomes. Kosovo is currently a country with many political, social and economic issues.
This project is brought together from multiple disciplines within Bournemouth University including Gaming Technology. It is under this department that I am involved; initially as a candidate for a student position, but later also a senior role in the project planning.
I served as the main Game Design consultant on this project, communicating with both Bournemouth University and Pristina University staff about Prosocial Game Design, workshop organisation, Game Design Document creation and usage, and game production. I was requested to have this authority during the recruitment stages, as the project leaders were impressed by my interest and expertise in Prosocial Game Design.
I ran multiple workshops in which I introduced the group (of mostly non-gamers) to the basics of Game Design, how to present 'storylines' and narratives through interactivity and game mechanics, producing Prosocial Games, platform considerations, and player motivations, amongst other topics (see them here). During these sessions I guided the groups through purposefully staged increments of Game Design concepts, with, by the last session, each group producing their own draft Game Design Document. I have written about my experience of running these sessions here.
I and eleven other students from various academic backgrounds travelled to Kosovo for a week-long workshop, to gain first-hand experience of the current issues in Kosovo, and work together with locals to brainstorm and produce a Storylines Game Design concept. For this project, the term 'storylines' was used to indicate a narrative outline, either of historical reality or of a game progression. We discoursed with multiple Conflict Transformation groups, and also produced blogs reflecting on specific sensitive topics (mine is here).
Each team produced a draft Game Design Document (templates produced by me) with their Prosocial Game idea fleshed out, and after a debriefing workshop we discussed, dissected and compiled all of the most suitable ideas and designs into a cumulative design. This served as the planned outcome for the project, but the hope is that there will be funding possibilities to prototype and develop this design further in partnership with Kosovo GMOs moving forward.
There has been multiple pieces written on the project for Bournemouth University here and here. Also, a publication going into depth about the multiple discipline approaches and the project itself is currently being produced, due for printing in 2017.