ClearFear game camp day two: the game begins
The ClearFear game took a significant step towards becoming a reality today. The first draft of the rules have been written and the game is starting to take shape.
Energy levels this morning were low after being sapped by yesterday’s frenetic activity. However, with the task of compiling the game ahead of us, our motivation and excitement soon returned, bringing the game camp back to life.
The main task today was to bring together different draft versions of the game into one and then start to play it. Our ideas yesterday were quite similar, but we still had different approaches to the game that needed reconciling. Was it to be a board game or a virtual game? Could it be played solely on the internet or did it require some face to face contact? What were the rewards to motivate people at different stages of the game? How do you engage more people in the game? Although we were unable to resolve all these issues today, we have achieved sufficient consensus to allow us to move forward with one draft version to refine over the next six months.
The ClearFear game will be all about helping people to overcome their fears. Anyone can play it as we all have something which causes us anxiety. Some anxieties are more severe than others, but all players will be equal and their fears equally respected as villains to be defeated.
The game will not be played alone. It is a social game and will involve teams of up to six players. Each player will identify their strengths which they can use to help other players in their team to defeat their fears. Moving through successive levels of difficulty, players will tackle the fears of other team members by setting realistic challenges. Team members will be supported to complete their challenges and the team cannot move on to the next level of the game until these challenges have been successfully completed. Rewards will be provided at each stage to motivate players to support one another to achieve their challenges.
Starting with a face-to-face encounter (there will be a virtual alternative too), team members then go about their everyday lives attempting challenges – or missions – which will gradually help them to conquer their fears. Conquered fears are shared with other ClearFear game players to encourage feedback and mutual support. A visual representation of conquered fears will be developed to illustrate the extent to which players have helped people to overcome their fears. Facebook is likely to be used as a collaborative tool to facilitate wider engagement in the game.
This description is purposively vague because the ClearFear game is still under development and the rules will ultimately only be available to those who play it. The game campers from Kingston RISE, the researchers working on the Connecting People study and Playmakers Industries will continue to collaborate to refine the rules over the coming months. We will also draw on expertise from RSA Fellows and other colleagues to help us ensure the game is fun, realistic, achievable, understandable, simple and all the other things which go to make up a good game (which I am still learning about!).
Although there is still a long way to go, I would like to thank all the game campers who gave us two days of their time to develop the game, particularly those who travelled a long way to come to London. I appreciate the game making expertise of the Playmakers, the lived experience of Kingston RISE members and the wisdom of my researchers. Above all, I appreciate the funding from the RSA Catalyst Fund which has helped to make this all happen.
Now for testing, refining and piloting in preparation for a launch in September 2012!