In our previous development blog we shared how we are progressing from a first pivot of the unconscious bias game ‘Blindspot’ to a second instalment. In this article we will describe what we have learned from user feedback in the first game and how this lead to design principles (anchor points for design decisions) that we choose as the foundation for the new version.
Blindspot is a playful experience that creates awareness on what biases are and how they work. This multiplayer game can be used as an intervention in programmes or activities about diversity & inclusion for organisations that want to start a conversation with their employees and customers on this topic. In this game we tried to use a compelling storyline and time pressure to actually trigger the players own biases in various settings.
The first version of this game was launched in November 2020. Player feedback has learned us that it does not yet achieve its goals. First of all: relying on triggering the players’ own biases as the core game dynamic and learning mechanism proved to be a gamble and a risk. The target audience for this game is very broad and everyone is triggered differently. If triggering the players own biases is the condition for learning, than you must be at least 90% sure that this actually happens. Also, even when a bias is triggered it often didn’t feel safe for the player to openly share that it did, thus preventing a good and open reflection.
Secondly, since the player already knows this game is about unconscious bias it makes no sense to try to hide it behind a storyline or other game content. The premise of the game keeps people on their toes preventing the natural behaviour you want in order to trigger their own biases.
And finally, in our effort to pack so much in this experience (a lot of biases, a variation of themes, and a lot…no really a lot of text..) we seem to forgot that we were building a game: a game that should actually focus on having al playful, fun and impactful learning experience
These lessons learned lead us to the design principles for Blindspot 2.0 where we try to do better.
The last few months we have been validating these design principles and validated various (paper) prototypes to test game mechanics and techniques. So far results are looking good so we took a next step to create a first digital prototype. This prototype combined with some basic content will help us to validate actual gameplay in a single player game setting with a larger group of test users. Once we have learned what to improve on user interaction we can further build this out in a multiplayer game that will be open to validate the group dynamics.
We will keep you updated on our progress via these blogs and other media. Stay tuned!