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Session Name:

Politics, Religion, and Ideology: New Approaches to Biased Games


Many strategies for commercial game development transfer directly into the serious games space, such as approaches to graphics, physics, and networking. But the goals of many serious games require more complex, subtler ways of representing human interaction. Current games in this space tend to skin action or simulation games, hard coding the ideological content and thus limiting the degree to which player interaction can engage the issues explored by the game. In particular, many serious games need characters and situations that respond based on complex social and political contexts.

In this talk, we first discuss the limits of commercial game development techniques, showing what problems are unachievable using conventional commercial design and technology strategies. Then we present an alternate approach for creating credible political contexts and consistent ideological bias for games. This approach is based on the authors research lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where we are developing general techniques for ideologically biased artificial intelligence (AI) and their application to political game design.

As a concrete example, we will describe and demonstrate a game about a particularly difficult political subject: abortion.

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  • GDC 2006
  • Ian Bogost
  • The Georgia Institute of Technology
  • free content
  • SGS: Serious Game Design
  • Serious Games