Story Go Round is a collaborative story-writing game that gets players to think creatively about how to use the tools around them to cope with disaster scenarios.
Story Go Round was developed as part of a collab with the Red Cross. The organization was very interested in the potential of games as both educational systems as well as more playful contexts for data gathering. We were asked to go through the VCA and design games that could accomplish some of the goals set out within that framework. The game was designed specifically to investigate the capabilities and capacities of the target community, as well as to get people talking about disaster preparation and management.
The game begins with the facilitator describing a type of disaster that could occur, its probability, and its severity. Players then collaboratively list 12-16 items in their community that might be useful for dealing with those sorts of disasters, and 12-16 valuables that they would prioritize saving (e.g. birth certificates, food, livestock). The facilitator takes some of the cards out of the "use" deck and deals the rest to the players. They then must work together to create a narrative about how they would deal with the disaster using just one of the two or three tools in their hand. If players are dissatisfied with their hand, they can take a blank card and write a new item on it, so long as that item is not within the deck. Players act out their stories, receive playful awards, and discuss their choices with the facilitator.
By limiting the number of items, and making creativity a strategic asset, players quickly come up with new uses for old items and see their surroundings in a new light. They are also presented with many opportunities to discuss their prioritization and overall rationale.
The pictures shown here are from our analog tests at Parsons (i.e. setting the game in NYC, in the lab students were familiar with, to properly test how people can change their view of their surroundings).
Check out the rules here.
Story Go Round was made for the Systems and Games collab with the Red Cross at Parsons, and was developed with Kelly Tierney and Mike Susol.