Fruitting In

For my final project I wanted to base the game off an experience from my life. I chose to make a game to depict what it feels like to be African-American and White, raised in a Christian and Jewish household. Simply put, more often than not I find that instead of fitting into any group, I’m the odd one out in all of them. With a group of black friends, I’m the white one. To a group of white friends, I’m the black one. With my Jewish friends, I’m not Jewish enough because my mom isn’t Jewish. With Christian friends, I’m the Jew.

The way I aimed to create this was through a social game appropriating game mechanics from games such as Spyfall, Room at Top, and some other card-based games. The rules of the game are as follows.

The cards looked like this

I wanted the players to move around asking questions and trying to find people of their own group. I wanted to incentivize the people to separate by type, leaving the one person without the fruit to try to fit in with the other groups. I wanted the fruit players to have something to do, as well as not know who has the blank, that’s why they have to work to find out who is in their group. I also wanted to give an opportunity for the blank card player to fake it and try to fit in. The blank card player obviously simulates my experience in groups of people where I’m not quite sure what my identity is. The black card player often just goes along with whatever is said, as to not stand out. I can relate to that style of action, talking about the Jewish things I did when I’m with my Jewish friends, etc.  The main thing that inspired me to do this was Dys4ia. Watching that game made me very emotional considering how well the designer seemed to get across her life experience. I wanted to do something similar, and decided that with my skill set I would need to make an analog game. I appropriated game mechanics and tried to form them into a way that can give the players an experience on the small scale of something that I experience often.

Indie Game Show & Tell

I chose Doki Doki Literature Club by Team Salvato. It’s a game masked as a typical Japanese dating simulator. After multiple hours of gameplay, things start to get a little weird and twisted, and you get the sense that it’s not a regular dating simulator. Part of why I consider this not only an indie game but an art game is that Team Salvato acknowledges video games’ abilities to be an art form and a way to express things not available in traditional media.

Spoilers ahead:

The game gets super twisted and self-aware. One of the characters has the ability to manipulate the other characters’ game files and she begins deleting their files- killing them in-game. She eventually gets one-on-one with you, the player, and the only way to progress the story is to delete her file from the game.

I chose this video with this timestamp because it shows a section where the character within the game is extremely self-aware. She mentions the fact that she gets shy when people are recording her, “knowing” that the gameplay is being recorded.  (Lots of profanity in this video)


Intervention: CS:GO Karaoke

For my intervention, I decided to try to get people to do Karaoke in Counter-Strike:Global Offensive. Initially, I was thinking of doing something at the circle on the edge of Centennial Common. The reason I wanted to use this location was that it sees a lot of traffic and is also a good space that wouldn’t be in the way of people’s daily commute. I wanted to do something there that brought a smile to people’s faces, or something that just brightened their day a little bit. I was mainly inspired to do this after our parachute intervention. However, I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do to do that. So I looked to the video game interventions for inspiration and decided to do something in my most played video game, CS:GO. I decided I would try to do karaoke in CS:GO.

Each game-mode within CS:GO has its own community, and I’ll briefly explain each and how receptive or not receptive they were (or would be) to doing karaoke.

Competitive: People who are playing the game in its most competitive form. They really don’t want to be bothered, I didn’t try. I knew if it was me on the other end in a competitive match I’d be really annoyed.

Casual and Deathmatch: Not as competitive but people mainly don’t want to be bothered or aren’t using their microphones. Often people hop into these servers to warm up or just get some game-time in without the time commitment. Most people weren’t responding in this game mode, or had a negative response.

Surf: A casual game mode where people are either not listening to their game sound, or are having casual conversation. I got some responses here but nothing substantial.

1v1: This game mode houses multiple 1v1 encounters where everyone can voice chat. The people here aren’t necessarily trying to improve because if they were they’d be doing deathmatch or competitive, but they are often engaged in casual conversation with the people in the server. Due to the relaxed nature of this socially active setting, I had my best results here. Of course, it is the Counter-Strike community, and there was still a lot of negative reception here, but there were also the largest amount of good interactions here.

I had tried multiple different well-known songs, but I got the best reception when using Bohemian Rhapsody. Additionally, I had the best feedback when I sang along.

In this video, there is a short clip of a few people singing along, and the second clip is someone who sang the whole of the song with me. From his point of view, he is singing in time, but due to the voice-chat delay, he is a second or so behind from my point of view. It’s not the most pleasing version of Bohemian Rhapsody I’ve ever listened to, but I think it brought some “good vibes” into that server that I was on.


Appropriation Game – “Star Corpse”

The final title of my game is “Star Corpse”. I appropriated some of the mechanics of Exquisite Corpse, such as each player contributes something to a final piece of art, but I wanted to use collage instead of drawing. I was also interested in collage based on the DADA collages. Originally I bought two magazines: Star and Downtown Abbey. I gave each of the four players a part of the body: head, torso (without arms), arms, and legs. I playtested with 3 different prompts, using both magazines and a piece of graph paper for the base.  

The prompt for this piece was “The Perfect Female Form”

The prompt for this piece was “An Abomination” with no body part suggestions.

This prompt was “The Ideal Male Form”

And this prompt was another “An Abomination” prompt with no suggestions for body parts.

What I found from this playtesting was that the abomination prompts seemed 50-50 on outcomes that matched the aesthetic I was trying to evoke. After talking about it with Celia and my peers, some changes that I decided to make are as follows:

Use stockier paper, always give a body part suggestion, and make the players name their piece when finished. Additionally I decided to broaden my prompts using found words within the Star magazine. I also decided not to use the Downtown Abbey magazine because I found that players tended not to use it when given the choice, and that the material within seemed overall less inspiring. I also made small changes to how the game was played, one prompt card for the group, with each person getting a body part, as opposed to each person getting both.

Here’s what we got:

The prompt for this piece was “CHILD.” They decided to name it Zero.

The prompt for this piece was “PAPARAZZI.” They named it big Hamds McGee, a play on big hands combined with hamburger something- it was a reference I didn’t quite get.

This piece’s prompt was “ACTION STAR.” They named it Aoun Jr.

Overall I was happy with the improvements made from the first playtest to my final playtests. I found that the players tended to name the character they created, not necessarily the “piece,” as I thought they would. The paper change really brought up the production quality of the final piece. I also felt that limiting the source to only the Star magazine also helped solidify somewhat of a theme. Other prompts that I created but weren’t able to playtest were: “Beautiful, stepson, and legend.” Looking back though, if I were to spend more time playtesting, I would try putting the collage on grid paper, and then putting the grid paper on the stockier black paper with a black outline. I do sort-of like the gritty, rugged look that came with the lighter grid paper.

Score Artwork 1

Keyboard Piece

(For one or more keyboards)

Begin in silence

Turn off your computer 

Type what you’d never say aloud

Type your secrets

Type your hatred and type your love

Turn your computer on


This idea came from something that I actually do as an outlet. I wasn’t sure how exactly I wanted to turn it into a score because when I do it I don’t always turn my computer off, sometimes I’ll type onto an imaginary keyboard on a desk or an unplugged keyboard, or just a keyboard with no typing application open. I find it thought-provoking as an idea that physically manifests your secrets while knowing that no one will really ever know what it was that you typed. I initially had the idea of typing it into a keyboard that you would then destroy but I wanted to tone it down into something that was easier to do for a classroom setting. I also didn’t find that much significance in the destruction of the keyboard, since what you typed was in no way represented by the physical keyboard itself. I thought it would make an interesting score since it would hopefully be cathartic for people. When we discussed it in class we talked about how the score itself provokes most of the thought that will probably come about when performing it. However, since then I turned it into a score that can also be performed by multiple people at once. Unfortunately, since making this decision I won’t have been able to try it out before class, but I expect that it will add another layer of depth to the score. As everyone stays silent, and all at the same time are typing out their worst secrets, crushes, things or people they hate, there will be a special energy in the room. And as people finish typing what they wanted to, their computers will turn on one-by-one or maybe a couple at the same time. It is similar to many of the scores that we looked at in and outside of class in that while it is a set of directions, it leaves a lot up to the performer. Each performance will likely be different, and no two people will have the same experience from it.