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Gilda’s Gaming Adventure

4/13/2010 by Gilda Haas - 4 comments

Board GamesOver the past few months, Rosten Woo and I have teamed up with Esperanza to create an online (and off-line) game to help familiarize people with zoning as a fundamental planning tool.

The reason for creating a game is to make  sure that the learning is interactive and fun.  (As opposed to boring and dull, which, with all due respect to my chosen profession, is what comes to mind for most people when you say the word “zoning.”)

We needed to test our game ideas before we got too deeply into the time-consuming  production work that online games require.

So we decided to start with a game that people can play face-to-face in a room.  A board game.

After some back-and-forth experimentation we came up with a rough prototype and then play-tested it with a stalwart crew of smart, activist health promoters from Esperanza.

The results of that are best captured in the following conversation:

Rosten: So let me get this straight. You didn’t have any fun at all? Ever?
Gabby: No.

Enough said.  So it was back to the proverbial drawing board. Or in this case — game board.

Unlike Rosten (and my daughter Chelsea, who beats me at any and all games) I am not a gamer. I like games like charades and scrabble because I like drama and words. So I clearly needed to get up to speed.

I read a book that Rosten turned me on to by Jesse Schell called the Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses.  Its a kind of applied philosophy of games, written very conversationally. Read More…


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