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Getting Started Up in Here

“The eternal gulf between being and idea can only be bridged by the rainbow of imagination.” 

— Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens

Thesis proposal defended, now it’s time to get this blog going. As you will find, this blog is a place for me to document and reflect on my research project. The project, to clarify, is going to be a game. An intergenerational game that presents the issue of filter bubbles and echo chambers. That might sound very vague and confusing to some, and currently it still is for me, but I’ll try to be more specific. I am interested in two things. First, how do we create spaces for people from any generation to play and learn together? Second, how can the issue of echo chambers and filter bubbles be presented and discussed by people of any age? These are the questions that I will try to answer by designing this game. These are the questions I will continue to reflect on in this blog.

Today marks the starting point of this project, the beginning of this MA adventure. I got to sit down with two incredible academics and discuss my project with them. The feedback was great and helps me think about the next steps that I need to take. First thing (other than getting ethics approval), is to expand my knowledge on game design and echo chambers/filter bubbles. Since I will be making an analog (not digital) game, similar to escape rooms, I will need to chat with experts on puzzles, room and game design. However, by working on a serious game, (games that are meant to be somewhat educational) I will also need to talk to experts on digital issues to see how I can frame/present the issue within the game. Information is key, to make this game properly present issues and also properly engage players, I need more information.

The start of any large project is always slightly overwhelming. My goal is to finish the project by April. That means building the game, testing it multiple times, and completing the final write up of it. I know this is doable, I would not have proposed it if I had thought differently, but it is alarming to look at all that I need to do. That one of the reasons I am completing this blog. It will keep me grounded on what I have done, am doing, and what I still need to think about. I know that I will learn a lot through this process and this place will help me record that. 

As you might notice with the quotes around this blog, I am interested in play. I believe that studying play is crucially important and maintaining play in our own lives is important. While this project is one way to do so, I hope this blog becomes a place for me to play with ideas and have fun with this project as I work on my MA. I’m not quite sure what the future holds for me or how this project will look once I am done, but I want to enjoy the experience. This space will be a mix of academic discourse and playful thoughts, moments and ideas. While I am creating this blog for my own work, I do invite you to follow me on this journey.