Hacking Games & Rules

  • Learners will define the rules and expectations that govern their world and relate them to those found within games.
  • Learners will compile a list of those regulations and expectation found within their social, institutional, familial, and larger cultural worlds and ascertain whether there are larger purposes of those rules

Introduction/Rules- Read Rules. Go around the circle and say name age and pronoun preference and answer icebreaker: What’s your favorite game?

Introduction to the idea of Hacking- What is hacking? Where have you seen or heard of hacking before?

To HACK- to take things apart, put them back together, figure out how they work, and create new things. (based on definition from from HACK.rva: hackrva.org/blog/)

What can we hack? Does it have to be computers/technology? Can we hack ideas? What can we hack in our everyday lives?

Breaking Activity- Learners will be broken into small groups or 3-4 and each be given a short card game (Fluxx, Pair of Ducks, Coup). Fluxx is a brief card game in which the way you play and the win scenario is constantly in flux creating the need for players to pay attention to the evolving rules. Pair of Ducks is a card game in which players must figure out a secret card being held to their head outwards based off the way in which the other players answer questions. Coup is a secret hand card game in which players hold secret specific role cards and must bluff their way into eliminating the other players. Learners will be given a break down of the rules and 45 minutes to figure out and play their games.

Breaking Discussion- During the breaking discussion learners will have a few minutes will discuss the rule systems of the games they played and evaluate how the rules affected game play. Once back together in large groups the learners will be lead in discussion comparing rules of a game to those in real life: As a queer young person, what are the rules that govern our lives? What is expected of you? What happens when you break the rules? How are you expected to follow the rules of these games? How do the rules you are expected to follow in games compare to those you are expected to follow in real life?

Making Activity Introduction to the Project- Learners will create a videogame that hacks (breaks and remakes) traditional understandings of rules and expectations that govern their social, relational and personal lives.

Game Maker Demo- Introduction to Game Maker Sprites, Objects (Events & Actions), Rooms, How to read Game Cards

Closure- During the closure instructors will review the concept of hacking and what it could mean for learners everyday lives. Learners will be given a sheet of free games to play:

Calamity Annie by Anna Anthropy- The first full length game made by game designer Anna Anthropy, stars a genderqueer gunslinger by the name of Annie. The player works through the game quick drawing against “bad hombres”. In between duels Annie interacts with her lover Valentine exploring an ongoing subplot of love and alcohol abuse.

Reset By Robin Burkinshaw - Players are a rocket launched into space without weapon capabilities who’s only means of survival is avoidance. Set to a single piece of music (Rest to Rest by Trash80), everything in this game responds to the music and the fuel supply only last as long as the song.

La La Land 1-5 by Matt Alderidge aka “The Anemic” - This series of games was made in Game Maker over a course of a few months. Based on a series of dreams the creator had, these surreal games star Biggt (pronounced bigot) a small creature with a wide smile and eyes that don’t line up. The goals the games present are seemingly arbitrary are almost always against the protagonist best interest.

Materials- Teacher supplies: Laptop, Projector, Wi-fi, Card Games (Flux, Two Ducks, Coup) Student supplies: Laptops, Game Maker Lite (installed on each laptop), Copies of Game Cards

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