15 Years!

Brainstorming Games for Social Good

To help brainstorm ideas for your game, you can use a matrix like the one below to help you. The vertical column contains the game genres you are interested in making. The horizontal column contains the social good themes that you and your team are interested in taking on. In the matrix below we have chosen 3 social issues; Ecological Sustainability, Bullying, and Education. Feel free to use the 3 issues provided here, however we encourage you to take some time to talk with your team and come up with additional social good topics. Refer back to the Anatomy of Games for Social Good article for topic guidance.

Ecological Sustainability Bullying Education
Puzzle

Platformer
Adventure / RPG
Simulation / RTS

Here is the fun part. Use the matrix to think of game ideas that contain the genre and the social good topic. This is the time to be imaginative and envision a game as a whole. Think about what it would be like to play it as it is was a finished game.

Fill in the matrix with as many combinations of genre and topic you can. You should populate the each box of the matrix with a short “Elevator Pitch” for your game. In the OGPC Game Jams we encourage every team to produce a One Page Design Document. This design document is one of the first steps in formalizing your game design. In that document you are asked to come up with the “Elevator Pitch” of what your game is. The “Elevator Pitch” is a 1 or 2 sentence explanation of your game. Here are some examples below.

Ecological Sustainability Bullying Education
Puzzle

A puzzle game that helps your fellow students better understand a subject.
Platformer As you walk the halls of school you or your fellow students may be being bullied. You must react quickly to find allies that will stop the bullying and turn bullies into allies.
Adventure / RPG Our avatar explores the modern world in a quest to finds ways to reduce waste.
Simulation / RTS

Now that the matrix is populated, it is time to narrow down to the best ideas. Think about which game ideas have the most potential:

  • Which games have feature ideas that just keep popping up?
  • Conversely, which game ideas are hard to think of new features?
  • How can each team member really participate and contribute?
  • What are the challenges?
  • Where is the awesomeness!

Talk it over with the team and take a vote. Now you have a game idea you can really build on!

If for some reason an idea you really like doesn’t get chosen. Don’t throw it away! We encourage you to keep track of it. There is always next year’s OGPC!

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