The online games that students in the Digital Liberal Arts Center (DILAC) created for Indiecade's Jamming the Curve event were featured in an article in the new site Hypepotamus.
The two games, "Essential Workers" and "Dino-Store," were developed by an interdisciplinary team of students model behavioral patterns during the Covid-19 pandemic and show players how certain behaviors can affect the spread of the virus.
“At its core, Essential Workers is about the dilemmas that this country and our communities are asking of its essential workers. These people have to go to work, and might be spreading COVID. What do you do when you put yourself in these people’s shoes?” said Colin Stricklin, one of the PhD students working on the project.
Stricklin, an English major whose research now focuses on collaborative gaming, built the initial logic for the game. He told Hypepotamus that the power of gaming is that it helps people understand their role in larger societal issues.
“We’re looking at how much impact an individual can have on a particular community – not necessarily on the entirety of the curve of COVID, but on the people that they know,” said Stricklin. “We built a cooperative experience that allows people to see where they fit into the system.”