What’s the subject matter for your video game?
We want to understand how people act in correspondence to social norms. I was intrigued by the morality dilemma posed in the Walking Dead video game that we explored for homework. This game really challenged the way that I thought about the perception of a person’s actions. I chose to go the route of moral, sound, and polite actions. Others that did not go that route expressed that they felt remorse in playing the game and had a different emotional experience with the game. Because we found these decisions so interesting in the Walking Dead game, we want to see how experiences change with our game when people are given questions and tests of sticking to social norms. A video game is an interesting place to explore this question because social norms are inherently something that a person follows in experiences with other people, but this video game will be experienced individually more so than socially.
What’s your tentative argument at the moment?
We think that people will follow social norms even in more individual – not social – experiences because of the emotional experience they will have when going against social norms. Even if a person wants to go against a social norm, after going against one social norm, they may feel awkward and revert back to following social norms.
Who’s the audience for this Twine project?
Following social norms is really done at every age past young childhood so this video game could really be positioned to target anyone. Being that we are both college students who feel most connected and in tune with young adult social lives, our audience will be people that are around the same age as us. This audience will from about 18 to 25 years old, but a lot of other groups of people would still be able to understand the social norms and problems faced for people of this age even if they are outside the age group.
What problems do you anticipate in charting out, designing, and/or creating this project? How do you plan on getting around these issues?
One problem that I think we will experience in creating this video game is creating situations that go against the social norms. This may cause us a bit of discomfort in playing out story lines that are not socially “right”. I think trying to stay objective in some of these situations would be really helpful to keeping our productivity and progress on track. Some social norms seem really taboo and incorporating these may not only be uncomfortable, but may also just be difficult to put into story lines. We may have to decide not to include these things in the video game if they make us too uncomfortable in playing story lines off of them.
I think that we will also come across some social norms that we want to include that seem funny to us. There are a lot of social norms that are not serious, but actually make people laugh when they are experienced. A few examples that come to mind are getting too close to someone’s face or talking too loud when talking and pushing all the buttons in an elevator instead of just the one you are going to. I think that we will have to be selective in choosing social norms that seem too funny so that we do not distract from our argument.