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Playing with Systems: Tactile Games as System Prototypes

by Tom Maiorana

Published onNov 15, 2019
Playing with Systems: Tactile Games as System Prototypes

The world’s most pressing challenges are systemic. Our ability to survive as a species is now linked to how quickly and effectively we are able to address systemic challenges like climate change. The practice of low-resolution prototyping helps designers quickly explore and learn about ideas, but it is rarely utilized when designing for complex systems. At the same time, physical games have often been utilized in service of learning about complex systems, but they have not been used as prototypes for systemic interventions. This short paper and demo provide examples of two games that show how designers can use games as low-resolution prototypes for complex systems. These physical games will transform systems from intimidating, impenetrable, and abstract concepts, to entities that can be explored, engaged, and influenced.

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