to be honest, I was not a gamer, before I read some books about games recently, the most inspiring one is <Reality is Broken> by Jane McGonigal. I deeply agree on their definition about “game”, different from the conventional idea of a “killing time” approach to “hide away from disappointing reality”. “game” is actually just an approach with many theories to promote people’s happiness and satisfaction, as well as educating new ways of thinking, so when we live the reality in a “gameful” way, many difficult problems probably have their solutions. That’s why I think about end-of-life care, which has always been in my mind for all these years.
To let one play a game to accept their end-of-life seems ridiculous and brutal, as people always consider end-of-life a sad thing, and the dying person as pathetic, so most help is provided based on sympathy. However, I think the society is the origin of “self-pity” and define dying people as “pitiful”, which weaken them. This is what I want to change by this “game” (I probably will name it “blessings”: )
It would be based on a platform of network where people sense their connections with past and future, no matter alive or dead. He will become a small part of network. For example, shown on the platform as a single stream from a big river, which resembles him and his family stem. It is a network that everyone could be connected and find his own position on this running river, even the deceased as well as the newborn. All his friends and relatives, even the doctors can register on this platform and be assigned a role to play. This is to suggest that we all own a position in history and in future, which won’t be changed by death, and the running water is an implication of constant flow of time, the impermanence of life. These are the concept beneath the setting of the game. Now let me explain how to play it.
Everyone has his own farm or garden beside his water, the major task is to flourish this garden, with many small sub-tasks designed according to previous well-studied ELC concept etc, the aim is to (1) bring some purpose to end-of-life, meanwhile, promote patient’s own peacefulness and mindfulness etc. (2) by helping the dying patients accomplish their tasks, we have a way to show how much we love and care although there’s nothing else can be done to deal with death. (3) his garden will be maintained after patient’s death, for memorizing, most important, for bereavement care. Patient can leave interactive tasks or messages in his garden unlocked to his loved ones after his death.
The aim of this idea is to help people consider dying process not a failure, but an ultimate challenge in one’s life, like the ultimate goal in a game, it deserves all the courage and all the love to cross the finish line, no matter how hard life was, any time from this moment can be a transition to success.
well, it's the brief idea so far, I would like to have some advice and opinions from professional game designers, on how I can start to make it come true. The alternate reality game design is quite interested to me, though I'm totally an outsider in this field so far. But people change. :D