Reflective game design concerns games that are designed to trigger critical reflection in their players, particularly in light of what game actions may mean in a larger socio-cultural context. Critical reflection, in this context, refers to consideration of our values, practices, actions, and awareness of agency in relation to socio-cultural, gender, religious, and economic forces as a means for change, action, and empowerment. Reflective game design can be used for any domain in which reflection may serve as an effective mode of learning or persuasion, for example, to promote safer behaviours related to use of digital media, to prompt community conversation about the integration of refugees, to temper racial conflicts, to promote green behaviours, to change women’s attitudes towards getting regular cervical smear tests, etc.
While there is a growing body of research related to reflective design, critical design, and serious game design, none of these existing research areas focus on the specific intersection of games and reflection. REFLECT is intended to address this gap in research knowledge and design practice, especially as games seem particularly well-suited as a medium for inducing reflection.
Goals of the REFLECT project are to explore how people experience reflection in games, capture design knowledge of how to successfully design reflection-inducing game experiences, and develop games following a reflective game design approach that successfully induce reflection in their players, facilitating transfer from game experiences to everyday cultural and social realities.
Call for proposal
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