Tag: parsons



1)What ideal in particular from the punk rock ethos do you think is underrepresented in games at the the moment?

2)Are there any contemporary examples of games that you think embody this balance between socially conscious and entertaining game design?

3)How do you imagine the “mainstream” of games culture changing as independent distribution continues to rise?


During our visit to Parson’s New School of Design we visited the Design & Technology Program and PET Lab. There we met with Associate Professor of Games & Learning John Sharp and Associate Professor of Media Design Colleen Macklin. First we were introduced to the work PET Lab does at Parsons in conjunction with Games For Change. We then played a quick round of The Metagame designed by John and Colleen. After a round John Sharp gave a talk on Punk Rock and the Indie Development scene. The talk highlighted the similarities between the punk rock ethos and how its ideals can help innovate games, the same way indie games are. After John’s talk we quickly jumped into a rapid game building session. Each team was given a challenge associated with the punk rock ethos to incorporate in our games. After we were done we demoed our games we continued the conversation concerning indie game design and innovation.


Making punk inspired games at Parsons New School with Colleen Macklin and John Sharp


I was extremely excited to get the opportunity to visit Parsons. Parsons was the first school in the United States to offer education in design. It was exciting to visit the school knowing its history and the many talented people who had studied there. I was also pleased to see that Parsons was embracing games in a unique way. The way John and Colleen spoke about the importance of indie games that are coming out of disenfranchised individuals or those with a unique point of view was inspiring. I think it was an important point to make and understand; that there is a way to make games that can be entertaining and socially conscious. It was a point that really inspired me to think about what my voice means in games.





Parsons @ PETLab

Parsons was a refreshing visit to a gaming company. The punk rock theme was really interesting, and I think that this take on video games would bring in a wider audience of attention. They made games raising awareness for women’s rights and the Red Cross. They introduced us to their game- Metagame, which is similar to Cards Against Humanity in mechanics except it propels freedom of expression in its improvised subject definitions. They gave us the words punk rock, and asked us to pick which of each cards in our hand that could be punk rock in an unconventional sense (DIY sense). Someone would read out their card and why it could be considered punk rock.

They changed up the pace a bit- we got to make our own mini games. I like the fact that the two prepared a sheet of guidelines for us. One side gave ideas for themes on subversion. One idea particular jumped off the page at me for some unknown reason: school. I guess because it’s the biggest factor in my life at the moment to the point where it feels like it’s the only factor. To make our game I took a really simple idea, and some fake money to bet with. My group ended up creating a game on buying assignments called Pass/Fail.

Through this game they forced us to think outside of the box, even outside of any rules. I feel that this aspect of the game being without borders made it more fun and spontaneous.

One point they made which I especially agree with Colleen when she said “games aren’t good for presenting a lot of facts”. Considering these people had made games for change, I could see why their approach to creating games would work for getting a message across rather than presenting facts. Their suggestion was to model the system, not the data. I think other game making companies need to keep this in mind, especially when making an educational or games for change type game.


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