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Game Design

18 Regions

”18 regions“ is an interactive game to raise awareness of underrepresented groups. In “18 Regions”, players will play as a discriminating person in a particular region. Players will travel to 18 areas with different characteristics, in which to live, to experience, to collide, to feel.

My Role / 

Solo work

Year / 

2019

Inspired by iF topic: End poverty in all its forms everywhere by 2030.

836 million people live in extreme poverty. It is more than the lack of income and resources to ensure a sustainable livelihood.  Its manifestations include social discrimination and exclusion. There are many forms of discrimination still existing in the world.

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Race

Religion

Pregnancy & Maternity

Age

Sexuality

Sexual Orientation

Initial Research

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Black unemployment is at least twice as high as white unemployment at the national level and in 14 states.

Black people are often regarded suspiciously in China, and considered as all coming from Africa, regardless of their actual origin. 

China

U.S.A.

India

Kenya

Young black males in recent years were at a far greater risk of being shot dead by police than their white counterparts – 21 times greater, according to a ProPublica analysis of federally collected data on fatal police shootings.

Rape is the fourth most common crime against women in India. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) 2013 annual report, 24,923 rape cases were reported across India in 2012.

"42.5 percent of Kikuyu women aged between 15 and 49 have been circumcised"

Ideation

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Story

I adopt these events into stories, and many of them happen in one region.

Character

The game characters are people all over the world with different identities.

Event

Once I held discussions with several universities who were interested in hiring me. One school advised me that I could never be granted tenure at their university because I was not a Seven-Day Adventist. 

I collect many real discrimination events all over the world.

Story 1

When a girl starts to menstruate, her mother is already trying to get her to marry.

Story 2

Story 3

​…

   I was promoted to a new position but paid less than my male white co-worker, though I had more experience. We could speak about issues of race as long as we didn't make male white people feel uncomfortable.

I  saw a large crowd of white tourists. A gentleman asked me what was happening. A large group of black teenagers left our movie theater en masse. I asked, “What do you mean ‘what’s happening?’” He said, “that mob over there." 

Story 1
'We only kill black people': police officer comments

Story 2

Story 3

​…

Story 1

No one in the office looks at the real boss when she is speaking for her gender.

Story 2

Story 3

​…

Game Mechanics

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Storyboard

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Touch the screen to control the character to move, and interact with the environment.

Police killed 1,147 people in 2017. Black people were 25% of those killed despite being only 13% of the population.

The character is born! In different regions, the character's identity will change.

Enter the game and select a region on the map to start the game.

Converse with NPCs. Get to know what is going on. In this process, improve understanding of different discrimination problems.

During the conversation, make choices to move the plot forward.

Experience the conflicts and understand what the discriminated's pain points are.

Go through more plots, which are adopted from real stories, and know more about what you are not aware of before.

After all items are collected, read a piece of data to gain a deeper understanding of the plight.

Prototype

Players converse with NPCs and make their own choices. Players move the plots forward by having conversations constantly.  Different options chosen by players will make the process slightly diverse. Players get through the plots by collecting special items, like 30 whistles, 10 disgusted faces, or 5 slaps. After collecting all items in one region, players finish this region on the map.

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After the conversation, the player may collect a "verbal abuse". Until 30 verbal abuses are collected, the player cannot go to next region.

In the process of exploring places in a region, the character meets NPCs randomly and see what they say.

They might say something really bad, and the player touches the screen to reply.

Playtest

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Feedback

1. There should be more background information for the players to get better understanding of the character situation.
2. The conversation button is not obvious enough, and difficult to be noticed.
3. There can be more plots to make it easier for the players to feel sympathetic and understand the situation.

Final Results

U.S.A.

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In the university, a professor prevents students to speak Chinese and indicates that he will write down the student names of those who insist on speaking their mother tongue.

1. Make your choice.

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2. Converse with the professor.

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3. Collect one argument.

Somali

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In Somalia, the most extreme female genital form of cutting is practiced. This procedure is associated with significant morbidity: 39% of women in Somalia are reported to have immediate substantial complications.

1. Converse with the mother.

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2. Make your choice.

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3. Collect one rift between mother.

Italy

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In Venice, a celebrity's son shared two images to Instagram, both of the pictures featured Asian tourists with the caption: "No place like Italy innit". Soon he was accused of racist.

1. Decide whether to take the boat or not.

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2. Click the button.

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3. Collect one Instagram post with insulting words.

China

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In Guangzhou, China, there is a group of black people. Ordinary Chinese citizens lack knowledge of them. The only action they could take is to keep distance from them and ignore them.

1. Decide whether to take the seat or not.

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2. Inner thoughts.

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3. Collect one stink eye.

India

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In New Delhi, India, a rape and fatal assault occurred on 16 December 2012. A 23-year-old female was beaten, gang raped, and tortured in a private bus in which she was travelling with her friend.

1. Control the character to move.

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2. Converse with the mob.

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3. Collect one harassment.

U.S.A

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Two black men arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks said they were just waiting for a business meeting – and a week later still wonder how that could have escalated into a police encounter that left them fearing for their lives.

1. Click the button.

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2. Converse with the police.

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3. Collect one arrest.

End

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Read the piece of data.

Inspiration