This session was on 4th Feb 2021

In the first session of game design, we met Dinesh sir for the first time. We exchanged introductions, and then talked about some good board games of the last decade.

I picked the game ‘Clans of Caledonia’, as I have been a Clash of Clans addict in the past😅 and I found the premise of medieval age trading to be really interesting. Other than this, other people talked about their board games some of which were ‘Terraforming Mars’, ‘Shasn’, etc.

Dinesh sir got the book ‘Nun Chai’ delivered during the class, and he showed it to us. It was a political/conversational book by the author Alana Hunt(Nun Chai is a Kashmiri tea variety). He said how it was relevant after the recent political events in Kashmir. This interested me in the book, and I added it to my Amazon cart, but just like the previous gazillion books I had planned to read, I wasn’t able to read this one.

We then discussed what happens when we play games on our phones. We got replies like ‘Our body posture is different’, and ‘Users are challenged’, but sir pushed us to think what happens to us mentally. The thought sir was trying to evoke in our minds was about the ‘social’ aspect of playing games. This is why he kept referring to multiplayer games like Pubg, and how it was one of the first mobile games which heavily relied on audio communication. This sort of led to another discussion on why sports and games like Tennis, Cricket, Basketball, etc. are still enjoyed by people even when the rules of the game have been the same for centuries. The answer was ‘Social Interactions’. Social interactions are the primary reason people play games, and enjoy them.

Jane McGonigal

We watched a TED talk by Jane McGonigal, the founder of the Institute of Play, New York, which was titled ‘Gaming can make a better world’. After watching this talk on our own ends, we gathered to discuss our insights. Somebody thought that games were a form of escapism, which sir disagreed with. This discussion then led to the question of whether or not people though t real life was boring. It had mixed views, but I think the people who thought that reality can be as interesting as games failed to convince me. I do think that games are much more rewarding than real life, but at the same time, the rewards aren’t as valuable as compared to real life accomplishments. This then led towards a philosophical discussion on whether or not games can be distinguished from reality(kind of like the simulation hypothesis).

We talked about what is the oldest form of interaction human beings have had, and language was one of the oldest technologies which we used to interact with each other.

In conclusion to the class, we got the assignment of presenting the games that we had selected today, and sir recommended the game ‘Journey’.