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Danny's analysis of Community PlanIt
 

Danny's analysis of Community PlanIt

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Review of participatory civic game platform "Community PlanIt". Done by Danny Fain as part of MSU online course "Foundations of Serious Games".

Review of participatory civic game platform "Community PlanIt". Done by Danny Fain as part of MSU online course "Foundations of Serious Games".

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    Danny's analysis of Community PlanIt Danny's analysis of Community PlanIt Presentation Transcript

    • slide 1 of 27 Danny’s analysis of Community PlanIt A place-oriented, multiplayer, collective-action game framework Primary website: communityplanit.org Main Ideas: • • • • • Part of an ongoing design-research project on games and civic engagement Makes community planning playful Gives everyone the power to shape the future of their community Provides a context for civic learning and action Each game instance focuses on a particular community, runs for a limited time (3 – 8 weeks) Research & Development: • Developed in 2011 – 2012 by the Engagement Game Lab (engagementgamelab.org), an appliedresearch lab at Emerson College in Boston. • Funded by Knight Foundation, with support from Emerson College. • Original development team: 4 professionals, plus many college students. • Current team (for new game instances): a part time developer, part of a writer, a researcher, and a project coordinator. • Budget approximately $300k, including implementation & research. (team & budget details via personal communication with project leader, Dr. Eric Gordon) Professor Carrie Heeter, Michigan State University
    • slide 2 of 27 Danny’s analysis of Community PlanIt Platform and distribution: • • • • • Browser-based Flash, with minimal hardware/software requirements. Simple, cartoon-like graphics. Players must register for a free account; no cost to participate. Can participate in multiple game instances, using one player account. Each game instance has its own website, launched from the primary CPI site. Instance websites remain accessible after the game closes. Game results are posted in the instance website. • Past (closed) game instances: 2011: Boston Public Schools 2012: Detroit, MI; Quincy, MA. 2013: Salem, MA; Philadelphia, PA. • Currently-active game instance: Malmo, Sweden. • Each game instance produced & promoted in partnership with local community organizations. E.g.: What’s “The Point”? – City of Salem, North Shore CDC, Metropolitan Area Planning Council Target audience: • Everyone in the focal community, such as a city or a school system. • Children under 14 need parent/guardian permission to join. • People outside the focal community are allowed to participate (interest implies a stake in community). Professor Carrie Heeter, Michigan State University
    • slide 3 of 27 Danny’s analysis of Community PlanIt Serious Goals: According to primary website: • Involve a variety of stakeholders in a process to improve the community. • Give everyone an opportunity to express viewpoints and ideas. • Collected input used by community planners to determine real-world decisions, including funding for the most popular causes. According to Gordon research paper: • Cultivate civic learning, a form of engagement that combines participation with the act of reflection, through developing trust relationships and reflective capacity. • Engage as many stakeholders as possible in providing meaningful input to decision-makers. • Provide opportunities for stakeholders to learn about the planning process through creation and sharing. • Give the community a tool with lasting benefits after the specific intervention had ended. Professor Carrie Heeter, Michigan State University
    • slide 4 of 27 Danny’s analysis of Community PlanIt Player Goals: Overarching: • Influence the community’s planning process. • Receive recognition from fellow stakeholders for contributions. • Win money for preferred local causes, and rank high in coin leaderboard. Intermediate: • Complete mission challenges and provide input to earn coins that can be assigned to local causes. • Receive “likes” and comments on posts in missions and in the “Soapbox” discussion forum. • Earn awards (badges and coins) for various accomplishments in missions or in the “Soapbox”. Game-instance Analyzed: What’s “The Point”? – city of Salem, in Massachusetts • Very recently active (Jan – Feb 2013) • Personally acquainted with area (visited Salem several times) Professor Carrie Heeter, Michigan State University
    • slide 5 of 27 Danny’s analysis of Community PlanIt Game-instance Website Structure: Launch page Intro video (standard here; some game instances have custom-produced video) Brief text intro to community & overview of game Professor Carrie Heeter, Michigan State University
    • slide 6 of 27 Danny’s analysis of Community PlanIt Game-instance Structure: Player welcome page Coin score, ranking, badges earned Link to mission challenges Links to game results: visualizations & raw data Professor Carrie Heeter, Michigan State University
    • slide 7 of 27 Danny’s analysis of Community PlanIt Core Play Mechanics: Answer questions in the mission challenges • multiple-choice: some opinion, some have right answer (the “Crat trivia barriers”) • open-response: player can write as much as wants; sees other players’ responses after posting • “empathy”: realistic fictional narrative with a personal predicament to resolve • some challenges require player to place a “pin” on a Google map • some challenges and the Crat trivia barriers have optional resource that player can view for reference: map, chart, or link to another website • “boss challenge” at end of each mission: has a right answer, requires more search/analysis/interpretation of data in accompanying resource (website, Google search, map) Each successfully-completed challenge and trivia barrier earns game coins. “Like” and post comments on other players’ responses to open-response challenges Responses are color-coded according to “hotness” (numbers of likes and comments). Post questions and ideas in the “Soapbox” discussion forum Can attach video or supporting files. Propose a new Cause in the “Bank” section of the site Pledge coins earned toward specific Causes Professor Carrie Heeter, Michigan State University
    • slide 8 of 27 Danny’s analysis of Community PlanIt Game-instance Structure: Mission challenges Each of 3 missions: • Focused on one major aspect of community (history/demographics; business/housing/safety; recreation) • Was open for ~1 week, with specific start and end dates • 12 challenges (questions with open-response or multiple-choice answers) + 4 trivia barriers (m/c) Map of challenges in Mission 1; sun icon indicates current challenge. Sequence left->right; must correctly answer each “Crat trivia barrier” (blue guy with bow tie & hat) to access next group of openresponse challenges (building icons) Professor Carrie Heeter, Michigan State University
    • slide 9 of 27 Danny’s analysis of Community PlanIt Game-instance Structure: Mission challenges Sample of challenge questions in Mission 1: If you were asked to give a guided tour of the Point, where would you go first? Place a pin on the map indicating where you would begin the tour, and explain your choice. Where might you go from there? (Google map) Crat trivia barrier: Where do most people in the Point migrate from (country of origin)? Mexico Dominican Republic (correct answer) Canada Brazil Portugal Charles Lee is a Korean-American from New York, visiting Salem with his wife, Sarah. Sarah owns her own nail salon and Charles works at Best Buy. They don't get much vacation time, but Charles really wanted to visit Salem because he's obsessed with ghosts and other supernatural phenomenon. They've been on every ghost tour in the town and stocked up on Salem t-shirts and souvenirs. Charles has been all over the city of Salem, but everyone he meets tells him to stay away from the Point. The ghost tour guide told him it's not a very attractive area, and it's dangerous to walk around the neighborhood, especially at night. "The Point is not worth visiting," he says. Explain why Charles is wrong, or why he is right. Professor Carrie Heeter, Michigan State University
    • slide 10 of 27 Danny’s analysis of Community PlanIt Game-instance Structure: Mission challenges Sample of challenge questions in Mission 1: (continued) What are the neighborhood's top attractions (both for visitors and people who already live there)? Select all that apply. Numbers show how many players selected that response 18 Places of worship / religious organizations 26 Healthcare 63 Dining out 43 Grocery shopping 27 Personal care (e.g., salon or spa) 29 Consumer products (e.g., clothes) 27 Professional services (e.g., legal) 95 Cultural, social, entertainment Attach a photo, share a video, or describe a place in the Point that you consider beautiful, and explain why. Crat trivia barrier: Why is the Point called the Point? 73 It's named after Stage Point, the filled-in marsh that used to be there (correct answer) 33 Because of the way it points out into the harbor 19 Because it was the first point that settlers visited in 1634 20 Because it points the way to Marblehead Tell us about a time you took pride in where you live (even if you do not live in the Point). What do you think would make you more proud of your neighborhood? Professor Carrie Heeter, Michigan State University
    • slide 11 of 27 Danny’s analysis of Community PlanIt Game-instance Structure: Mission challenges Sample of challenge questions in Mission 1: (continued) Take a moment to look at the map of the neighborhood (click the icon on the left to launch the map). We asked some people in the Point what they thought were the boundaries of the neighborhood. This map was developed with their feedback. Do you agree with the boundaries? If you do not agree that it is accurate, what would you change and why? It's time to go shopping. Your refrigerator is getting empty, your pantry is running low on staples, and come to think of it, you need a tube of toothpaste and a perscription filled, too. Where do you go to get all of these things? If you live in the Point, how far away do you need to travel, and how do you get there? If you don't live in the Point, where do you think a Point resident would need to go? Imagine you've been asked to write a news article about something that happened in the Point for the Salem News. What would you report on? You can choose any event from the last year, even if it seems minor to others, or nobody else reported on it. Write a headline, and upload or describe a photo to accompany your imaginary article. If you want, you can explain more about your article in your comment. “Boss” trivia barrier: Why are so many of the buildings in the Point built around 1914? (for reference, link to Google search on “salem ma 1914”) 7 An economic boom led to increased real estate development 5 An urban renewal plan was put into effect 67 There was a fire that year 1 There was an earthquake that year Professor Carrie Heeter, Michigan State University
    • slide 12 of 27 Danny’s analysis of Community PlanIt Game-instance Structure: Mission challenges Sample of challenge questions in Mission 2: How well do you think the city government of Salem is doing to meet the needs of people who live in the Point? Explain in your comment, or suggest improvements. (reference link to City of Salem website) 18 Poor 4 Very Poor 49 OK 26 Good 12 Very Good In Salem, slightly more people own their house or unit than rent. What is the most common living situation in the Point? (reference chart of “Occupied Housing Units By Tenure and Number of Units in Building”) 8 Most own a single-family house 6 Most rent a single-family house 71 Most rent a unit in a small building (nine units or fewer) (correct answer) 17 Most rent a unit in a large building (20 units or more) What's your favorite place to eat in the Point? Put a pin on the map to show us where you go to chow down, and explain what makes it so special. (Google map) Professor Carrie Heeter, Michigan State University
    • slide 13 of 27 Danny’s analysis of Community PlanIt Game-instance Structure: Mission challenges Sample of challenge questions in Mission 2: (continued) Timothy is a single parent who lives in the Point with his two daughters. He is bilingual, and attended public school in Salem before enrolling in trade school to become an electrician. He's been working for his brother’s electrical company for the last nine years. Timothy has had a pretty rough life, but has worked hard to be a positive influence in his community. He loves to talk to people, and is quick to start up a conversation with anyone he meets in the neighborhood. For years, Timothy's brother has managed to keep his electrician shop on Congress Street open, but lately, business has fallen off. He needs to attract more customers or think about moving to a new location. What do you think is the best way to help Timothy and his brother? Adding more trash barrels to an area is one way to reduce litter. If you could place trash barrels anywhere in the Point, where would you put them? Pick the one place that needs them most, and place a pin on the map. Use your comment to explain your choice, and offer other suggestions. “Boss” trivia barrier: Shetland Park is a business park located on Congress Street. About how many companies have office space there? (reference link to Shetland Park website; need to look in tenant directory) 48 About 130 11 About 90 7 About 40 6 About 20 Professor Carrie Heeter, Michigan State University
    • slide 14 of 27 Danny’s analysis of Community PlanIt Game-instance Structure: “Public Square” area “Soapbox” discussion forum. The 10 most popular and active (“Hot”) conversations from Mission Challenges, Soapbox, and Bank Causes, aggregated based on the number of comments and likes, are promoted to the “Buzz” page. Professor Carrie Heeter, Michigan State University
    • slide 15 of 27 Danny’s analysis of Community PlanIt Game-instance Structure: “Public Square” area Awards listing. The criteria and coin value of each award. Collaborative accomplishments Competitive accomplishments Professor Carrie Heeter, Michigan State University
    • slide 16 of 27 Danny’s analysis of Community PlanIt Game-instance Structure: “Bank” area An accounting of coins that have been collected and pledged during the run of this game instance. Professor Carrie Heeter, Michigan State University
    • slide 17 of 27 Danny’s analysis of Community PlanIt Game-instance Structure: “Bank” area Listing of local causes, ranked by number of game coins pledged. Comments posted Cause name and description Pledge amount Total pledges Professor Carrie Heeter, Michigan State University
    • slide 18 of 27 FORMAL COMPONENTS Ouroboros Magic Circle of Community PlanIt ENVIRONMENTAL COMPONENTS Outcomes Game World or Board (serious goals) Rules Mechanics (Actions or Procedures) Resources Relation to Real Life System Dynamics Premise or Story Pre-Game Context Player-Player Interactions Characters Player Experience GOALS Designer’s Serious Goals Conflict or Challenge Player Goals GAMING CONTEXT During Game Context End State (Game Outcomes) Copyright Carrie Heeter, 2013 Post-Game Context
    • slide 19 of 27 Danny’s analysis of Community PlanIt Forms of Fun: Social People-Fun ProblemSolving Competition Discovery Theories: Social Cognitive Theory Problem-based Learning Professor Carrie Heeter, Michigan State University Extrinsic Motivation Situated Learning Distributed Cognition
    • slide 20 of 27 Danny’s analysis of Community PlanIt User experience: Ferrara’s 5 Levels Aesthetics Simple, clear, attractive graphics. Playful tone. Usability Simple controls, familiar presentation, fairly easy to navigate. Good use of Google Translate. High emphasis on text may be problem for low-literacy players. Balance Little progression in difficulty. Some scaffolding through player interactions. Unbalanced incentives for “likes” and comments. Available time for missions may be insufficient for busy players. Meaningful Choices Open-response challenges leverage wide variety of player experience and interests. Ability to pledge coins toward preferred Causes with real-world consequences. Motivation Intrinsic motivation supported by autonomy, competence, and relatedness aspects of SDT. Extrinsic motivation for supporting favored Causes, and by earning awards. Professor Carrie Heeter, Michigan State University
    • slide 21 of 27 Danny’s analysis of Community PlanIt User experience: Freedoms of Play Freedom of Effort - High • can complete as many challenges as desired within current mission, in any order (constrained by “Crat” trivia barriers) • can review, “like”, and comment on other players’ posts as desired • can start or respond to conversation threads in “Soapbox” • participation limited to the time span that each mission is open Freedom of Experimentation - High • can express views and opinions in various ways, to see effect on “likes” and comments • can propose new Causes, evaluate popularity Freedom of Identity – Medium Player expected to represent own real identity accurately, but can exercise empathy in some challenges Freedom of Failure – Medium • feedback mostly provided by other players Professor Carrie Heeter, Michigan State University
    • slide 22 of 27 Danny’s analysis of Community PlanIt Feedback and Rewards: Feedback to posting mission challenge responses, questions/ideas in “Soapbox” discussion forum: • “likes” and comments provided by other players: fixed-ratio, highly-variable-interval reinforcement • Color-coding of response display, according to “hotness” (numbers of likes and comments) • Pros: authentic, builds lateral trust • Cons: limited and unpredictable amount -> hard to learn from Feedback to pledging coins toward specific Causes: Final leaderboard of Causes in Bank section Rewards: • Earning coins from completing challenges: continuous reinforcement • Earning awards (badge + coins): fixed-ratio or variable-interval reinforcement • Leaderboard of players and affiliations, based on total coins earned Professor Carrie Heeter, Michigan State University
    • slide 23 of 27 Danny’s analysis of Community PlanIt Challenge Data Visualization: Bubble Mode Each bubble represents a single response to selected challenge; bubble size indicates popularity; bubble color indicates response sentiment (red = negative, green = positive, gray = neutral). Can filter responses by gender, age, stake, etc. Text of selected challenge question Clicking on bubble opens a pop-up showing the response post and any comments Professor Carrie Heeter, Michigan State University
    • slide 24 of 27 Danny’s analysis of Community PlanIt “Big-picture” Results Visualization: Demographics & Participation Interactive graphs (hover mouse pointer over each segment). Number of players that completed challenges in Salem game; a plurality completed 30% - 40% Professor Carrie Heeter, Michigan State University Players’ prior civic experience
    • slide 25 of 27 Danny’s analysis of Community PlanIt Results relating to Serious Goals: Salem data-visualization results applied to primary website serious goals: Goal: Involve a variety of stakeholders in a process to improve the community. Results: • Players were socioeconomically diverse • Young (plurality under 18), less-educated (majority without college education) • Substantial plurality with no/little prior civic planning experience or communication with government Goal: Give everyone an opportunity to express viewpoints and ideas. Results: • 191 active player posted over 2600 responses • 70% of players self-identified as being within the community • Bubble visuals show wide variety of responses Goal: Collected input used by community planners to determine real-world decisions, including funding for the most popular causes. Results: No data yet Professor Carrie Heeter, Michigan State University
    • slide 26 of 27 Danny’s analysis of Community PlanIt Results relating to Serious Goals: (continued) Goals and results reported in Gordon research paper (unpublished): Based on similar game-instances in Boston Public Schools (2011) and Detroit (2012). Data gathered through in-game interaction analysis, player interviews & focus groups, post-game “finale” meeting. Goal: Cultivate civic learning, through developing trust relationships and reflective capacity. Results: Substantial evidence of increased lateral trust in other players, affiliated groups, and citizenry. Significant anecdotal evidence of player reflection on planning issues, process, roles. Goal: Engage as many stakeholders as possible in providing meaningful input to decision-makers. Results: Players were socioeconomically diverse, many from usually-underrepresented groups. Goal: Provide opportunities for stakeholders to learn about the planning process through creation and sharing. Results: Some anecdotal evidence (in-game responses & comments) that sharing led to learning about the community planning process. Goal: Give the community a tool with lasting benefits after the specific intervention had ended. Results: Detroit city-wide survey ranked CPI as the most “hopeful” engagement strategy. Professor Carrie Heeter, Michigan State University
    • slide 27 of 27 Danny’s analysis of Community PlanIt Gems/Surpluses: • • • • Great usability, especially for players familiar with social networking sites Use of Google Translate helpful for ELL players Freedoms of effort and experimentation Effective in building trust, relatedness, and empowerment among community stakeholders Anti-Gems/Deficits: • • • • Participation timespan very limited (3 specific weeks); if someone’s too busy or away at that time … Mechanics rely on text reading & writing; problematic for low-literacy stakeholders Challenges that require map- or chart-reading skills, or website search, should have some scaffolding Scalability: high cost of pre- & post-production for each game instance (planning, development, outreach, data visualization, …) References: Ferrara, J. (2012) Playful Design: Creating game experiences in everyday interfaces. Rosenfeld Media. Squire, K. (2011) Video Games and Learning, chapter 5. New York, NY: Teachers College Press. “Forms of Fun” and “Theory” card graphics from Dr. Heeter’s Support for Game Analysis slide deck. Gordon, E. and Baldwin-Philippi, J. (2013, working paper). “Playful Civic Learning: Enabling Lateral Trust and Reflection in Game-based Public Participation” Professor Carrie Heeter, Michigan State University