The purpose of this project was to explore how people can learn how to make decisions together using digital mediums and gameplay. Using an analysis of working personas and decision making styles, I created a game that allows two (or more) people from various disciplines and walks of life to understand how they would work together to make decisions and move towards a common goal, even if they are separated physically. I used this game to observe interaction between people who used it to connect through an online interface across cultural, geographic and language barriers.
The two-person game has two phases: A single-player series of questions and decisions that would allow the system to gain an understanding of each individual's personality, and then a two-player phase that allows both players to enter gameplay together for an immersive experience that serves up situations that would highlight their differences and similarities. I have translated the basic version of this game into English, French and Hindi in order to observe the differences in interaction modes and conclusions.
I developed a method to categorize personality types based on psychology research and decision matrices. I then developed a game story line, with a setting that allows players to abstract themselves from their actual contexts to think about themselves in a fantasy situation together. Based on the matrix of different decision making styles, a custom version of gameplay was created for each pair of people, to present situations where there will be conflict of opinion or the chance to work together cohesively.
The basic version of this game was a series of questions and descriptions of settings, that allowed two people to interact on a basic level (through chat) while making decisions together. I used this version to explore interactions between several types of people, both in a personal setting and in a work-based setting (such as with distributed teams).
After initial results, I developed a more immersive version of the game using Unity, and experimented with the level of immersion required in order for players to truly abstract themselves and reveal their true personalities and biases.
This project is currently being developed at J. Walter Thompson to help their global teams function more efficiently.
Analysis of Personality Types
I studied personality tests and archetypes of decision making to create a system of categorization that forms the backbone of the games. Through the first portion of the game, which is single-player, each person is placed into one category.
Using the categorization of both players, the system generates a unique form of gameplay designed to highlight where they will work well together and where they will be in conflict.
Highlights Strengths and Weaknesses
After the game is over, the system will generate a report of probable areas where the pair will work well together and where there are potential areas of conflict.