VR Empathy

Virtual Reality makes us feel humanity in a deeper way because it allows us to put our users in the exact same position we want them to be. It connects humans to other humans in a profound way and it can change people’s perception. We become more empathetic and more connected through this machine. There is a study about mirror neurons (http://cultureofempathy.com/references/mirror-neurons.htm) that talks about how we can feel as if we were doing what we are watching/listening about just by storytelling. If this is possible through storytelling it is not surprising that VR can intensify this emotion.
Of course there are limits and questions to be answered since this is a considerably new are to discover but I think it would be interesting to make interactions in real time with automatic translation so that we can interact with the person on the other end, take the technology and mix it with other ones to make the result even more interesting.
Also as we’d talked about shifting perception and sharing common ground in this class I think it would be interesting if we could turn this “virtual” reality into a kind of economic “game” where one can hire people and “play” against other people in poor areas of the world. The question would then be, how do we stay with the VR feeling on after we turn the machine off?

“Who killed David?” Play test at The Point

Qianjing Liu, Songyuan Li and Chris Lee.

As the our project is not completely finished yet, we just test part of it. As the proposal, we decided to make project to tell audience a story in a creative way. During the process, player will act as a detective who can exchange perspective with object. When they touch some specific object, we will play a video to show part of the story based on the object’s perspective. For this time, we prepared 5 different videos for the player. After he touched all the items, he reorganized all the information and tole me what he found as a detective.

Compared with previous story, his vision is quite different although it conclude all the clues we gave in the video. For next time, we may give more clues which can lead players to the right direction. However, I also realize that audience got fun from this experience, so we may need to leave some room for them to imagine the story.

Playtest at The Point — ‘Privilege’ & ‘Joints’


Privilege isn’t fun. I’m not sure I’d call it a game. It’s structured like a game, but that is more for organizational reasons than anything else. Maybe it’s a workshop. Maybe it’s an icebreaker.  Much of the emotional direction of the game is going to depend on who is playing. The first playtest was with several youth of The Point plus one Parsons student. It didn’t delve into anything too uncomfortable, but, rapidly, there was much discussion over what, exactly, constitutes privilege. Two of the kids were gamers, and were debating whether their identity as gamers could be underrepresented. It was refreshing – it was a much calmer and in depth discussion vs the fevered pitch of #GamerGate where suddenly middle-class white males attempted to position themselves as the most oppressed class of people in America.

The second round played differently and revealed some problems with the design. The second group was split about half and half between Point youth and Parsons students. The Point youth were uninterested in playing competitively. They also were uninterested in exploring what we usually consider when we talk about privilege — male privilege was voted down, half because it excluded some players, while most Point players mentioned ‘privileges’ that could be shared by all players (eg, the fact that as Americans we have the privilege of having more self-determination than many people in other countries). We were wondering whether we had to make the instructions even more clear, or whether we could change the scoring in the game to be zero-sum, whether that scoring mechanism would trigger more competitiveness.


Joints, now ‘flim flam’ started as a remix of Dixit, trading the fairy-tale tropes for some aspects of urban life. In a given round, the storyteller had to tell a story based on a card in their hand, placed facedown on the table. Then other players each placed a card face-down on the table that they felt could be the ‘inspiration’ for the story. The cards were then shuffled and revealed, and players had to guess which card was the storytellers, with points being awarded for guessing the correct card, or for tricking fellow players. We found that people loved telling stories, but that we weren’t engaging so much with the new viewpoint or the social justice topics.

Play test at Point -YunqiZhou and GeYao

There are couple problems when we are doing play test. First, players talking when they were playing the game. So We think before we get into the game, we need articulating our rules. Furthermore, when we are doing evaluations, when light is on. people are not willing to do this. Because they don’t want to be offence to others.  So we need to find a way to solve this question.


GeYao and YunqiZhou

Cooperative Janga Game

Geyao Zhang & Yunqi Zhou

We are making a Janga like game. In this game, two players have different angle of views. For example, one player is look from the front of view, the other is looking from the left side. They need to save a person standing on the top of the Janga tower by removing bricks.

They only have limited communications. (They can’t see other’s screen in each turn) So they need to figure out which brick is removed by the other player.

crime solving game [alex and ben]


for players to try and experience a scenario from multiple perspectives


–story telling/problem solving–

1)Players are given 10 trait cards. they choose three to be visible to the rest of the players and keep the rest to themselves.

2) A scenario is created by pulling a time, place, act, and detail card (for instance early in the morning at the diner there was a murder that was a crime of passion)

3)Players go around the table in turns. During a turn, a player can accuse another player of having a relevant trait to the scenario based on the revealed cards of all the players.

4)The accused player must produce an alibi from either their currently revealed cards or by revealing one or more cards remaining in their hands.

5) After each round, a news leak occurs, and the group flips over a card from the scenario deck, revealing further information about the case.

genre: card game


Flim-Flam (Johnathan Belin, Tevin Byrd, Joanna Chin, Shakti MB)


Flim Flam is a game about BS-ing and Fronting! The definition of Flim-Flam is “non-sensical or insincere talk” or “to swindle someone with a confidence game”. Flim-Flam is a storytelling card game that subtly and humorously encourages players to explore their preconceptions & privileges.

How to Play: 

Starting off, cards are dealt to all the players (2-10). A hand might contain cards with people, places, things, or events on them (Beyonce, high school gym, knife, first kiss…)

During a turn, a player tells a personal story using one or more of the cards in their hand. If they have no cards about which they can tell a true life story, then they must lie. Other players can call, Flim-Flam if they think the player is telling an untrue story.

If the player was lying, then they must take all the previously played cards. If they were telling a true personal story, then the player that called Flim-Flam must take the cards. The object is to get rid of all of your cards.

Goal: Learn how others experience aspects of culture (To understand another person’s perspective through their experiences — a new perspective)

Mechanic: Storytelling (through the use of cards for sharing information) + Lying (swindling)

Genre: Card game / Party game

For Against



  • Goal: We want people to see the perspective of another based on a given situation.

Mechanic: how it works, what are people doing, what actions, strategies, behaviors emerge as the game is played: i.e. Communal Discovery (like Nick’s balloon), surround territory, resource management. Do players have choice so they can experiment and strategize, to achieve goals in different ways?


Initialize an argument, one FOR and one AGAINST


Two main characters, with two supporting characters.

The two supporting characters have to convince the opposite why they should support.



You’re pregnant, and you want to keep the child and take care of him. But your boyfriend think its too early and wants you to abort.



Girlfriend: You have to argue that you want to keep the child and why.

Boyfriend’s best bud:



Boyfriend: You have to argue why it is not a good idea to keep the child and why.

Girlfriend’s sister:



  1. If other team has no more counter arguments
  2. If supporting character is able to convince their own sister to give in to situation



Josh has been dating Mark for 5 years and is ready to marry him. Josh’s mom is against gay marriage and wants him to find a girl instead.



Josh: Argue why you deserve the right to marry whoever you want and why love is equal.

Josh’s Dad: Debate why your wife should be more for gay marriage.



Josh’s Mom: Argue why gay marriage is wrong and why it will make you unhappy.

Mark: Argue why Josh should respect his Mom and make his family a priority.



Police arrived at the scene after neighbors reported hearing gunshots. Back Bystander was playing with a bbgun. Police fired shots at a and then realized the bystander was not involved in the shooting.



Policeman (Jonathan): Argues that he saw a gun and he should not have been playing with one.

Another bystander: Saw the bystander playing with the gun and thought he was guilty too.



The bystander: Was only playing. Feels like they are doing racial profiling.

Jonathan’s colleague: Argues that Jonathan should not have so rashly intervened and shot the bystander. Felt that he did not handle the situation professionally.



Two police officers Jonathan and Jordan (who is black) are having drinks at their favorite bar with their girlfriends. Jonathan makes a passing comment saying this is a dangerous bar because there are many blacks here. Jordan gets offended by his racial profiling.



Jonathan: Argue why racial profiling is necessary when it comes to pressing down criminal rates

Jordan’s Girlfriend: Support Jonathan that your race has the highest rate of criminal activity and why



Jordan: Counter argue why it is not fair to stereotype people based on their color

Jonathan’s Girlfriend: Support Jordan why it is criminalizing to judge people


Genre: Participatory performance


Debatable Topics:


Gay Marriage


Evolution vs Creation

Surrogate Mother

Police Brutality

Racial Profiling


Playtest at The Point

For the playtest at the Point, my goal was to see how differently game play would be from previous playtests, to see if the mechanics still worked, and to get feedback and ideas on the categories of the game. I was able to do 2 thorough playtests with groups of 5 players and it was very valuable for me.

What I learned was that more conversation around the ideas of privilege and advantages occurs than I first thought (which is great). People really and thoughtfully spent time thinking about their lives, experiences, disadvantages, and the same for those around them in order to play the game. While some people concentrated on the game play and winning, others were more enthralled with the aspect of defining and determining privilege as it translated from reality to the game.

I had the groups help me come with ideas or feedback on the current categories of the game and in general, they felt that I should provide more examples for the categories and get specific with them and not be as broad. Besides that, the categories seem to give people better direction and focus for determining their rules.

Moving forward, I think my biggest challenge is in getting the game to a place where people can play without me having to explain much –or at all for that matter.