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The Number One Educational Resource for the Game Industry

Session Name: How Designing for Love Can Change the World
Speaker(s): Scott Brodie, Martin Hollis, Chelsea Howe, Mitu Khandaker, Jane McGonigal, Michael Molinari, Jane Pinckard
Company Name(s): Heart Shaped Games, Zoonami, Social Chocolate, The Tiniest Shark Ltd, Social Chocolate, Namco Bandai, UC Santa Cruz
Track / Format: Games For Change

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In recent years, games that illustrate social issues or educate players have explored several mechanisms for conveying their messages and some have explicitly targeted player's emotions. This session dives deeply into the relationships between game design, theme and emotions, asking questions like, "How can games stir compassion and empathy in players? What can we learn about player impact from the way game designers have approached themes of love, whether romantic of filial?" In these mini-lectures, six game designers explore how integrating love as a core mechanic can evoke new themes, impact the player in unforseen ways, and suggest new design areas of interest to Games for Change. They consider such questions as, how do we design core mechanics that support the theme of love? How do mechanics around love, romance, and affection reverberate through gameplay, and change players' perspectives, behavior, or understanding?

GDC 2012

Scott Brodie

Heart Shaped Games

Martin Hollis


Chelsea Howe

Social Chocolate

Mitu Khandaker

The Tiniest Shark Ltd

Jane McGonigal

Social Chocolate

Michael Molinari

Namco Bandai

Jane Pinckard

UC Santa Cruz

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Games For Change