Self-censorship for effective social impact games

Game design is a craft people have studied for a long time. Games have often been examined for their entertainment value and psychological effects, as well as their technical finesse and storytelling abilities. However, it’s only in recent years that research and dialogue has emerged about video games as a positive tool for behavioural and cultural change. From disease prevention to energy conservation, games are use
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Pure Rush 2

Pure Rush and the balancing act of game development

Pure Rush, a game we are producing with the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, features a teenager running to a music festival and aims to show players the effects drugs can have on those who choose to take them. Throughout this design process, there have been some interesting challenges we have faced and decisions we’ve had to make – a few of which we’d like to share with you here today. Fi
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Pure Rush Sprint 2, Day 1

The second sprint on the Pure Rush drugs education game has started and the creative team are continuing to develop the gameplay and the design. The aim of this sprint is to improve the retention of the messages that players encounter when they play the game that provide information on the effects of illicit drugs. Some of the feedback they got from people who played the first iteration of the game was that some elem
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The final instalment of the three-day Pure Rush prototype sprint

  They did it! Well, of course they did. I didn’t doubt them for a second. The prototype not only looks appealing and is enjoyable to play (and I would know I’ve been playing it all day), it also presents a strong message about the serious effects of illicit drug use. Marianne has put the finishing touches on graphics, including sparkles when points are collected, obstacles like cat’s, dogs, ga
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Pure Rush sprint: The final hours

Believe it or not, one of the greatest challenges arose long before development began. The illicit substances had to be portrayed as negative and harmful. How can this be portrayed while still ensuring the game is enjoyable to play and appeals to a young target audience? Well, Marianne, Marcus and Alex have proven it can be done. By 10am the drugs were taking effect and Sir Runalot was unable to function correctly if
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Pure Rush: Day Two

We’re at the end of day two of the gloriously exciting, dangerously breathtaking three day Pure Rush sprint! I for one, can barely contain myself. Witnessing the progress of this new and seriously funky educational game has been so much fun and it’s coming together very well. Well done to the developers Alex and Marcus, on creating the five levels today. They’ve also established an upgrade system at
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Pure Rush: Day One

There’s been so much progress so far and things are running super smoothly. By 11am Alex had the scrolling structure together. The blue and pink graphics at the top and bottom scroll across the screen simulating motion. The white rectangle is the avatar moving forward (toward the right) and jumps at the click of the mouse. The orange squares represent obstacles, i.e. the illicit substances that the player needs
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Pure Rush three day game sprint

The 2and2 office is a collaborative environment, full of hustle and bustle. Producers, developers, graphic designers and instructional designers are constantly liaising with one another about the best way to do this, or that for various projects running at the one time. At the moment, Marcus (Developer), Alex (Developer) and Marianne (Graphic Designer) are sitting in a little enclave of their own, working autonomousl
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Pure Rush: The game that isn’t a ‘game’

This topic is incredibly close to my heart. Although I’ve never used an illicit substance myself – nor even taken a puff of a cigarette – I’ve witnessed the tragic result of substance abuse first hand. It was 20 years ago, and I was only a child, but to this day, I still see the tragic impact on my family, which is probably why it was easy when I was a teenager, surrounded by party drugs and cannabis– to say ‘no’. Th
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