-by Maya and Skip  On February 18, a brand new experiment for the online game ― team play using Zoom breakout rooms ― took place, facilitated by Aya Matsuyama. Here are some highlights of what proved to be a very promising experiment, with commentary from Maya on support staff, and Skip as a player. Eighteen players participated, forming six teams of three players, all of whom were either facilitators or people who had already experienced the game in some form. Players joined from several countries, formed teams speaking 5 languages, resulting in a palpably global experience.  Intentions Because part of the intention for this experiment was to explore ways for digital non-natives to more easily experience the game, team play was designed so that one member of each team would operate the player controls (the ‘operator’), while the other players would participate by advising or directing the operator―and by visiting other teams’ breakout rooms to negotiate with them. For purposes of this experiment, all of the operators already had online game experience, and were familiar with how to use the game screen functions, such as running projects, chatting with others, and making transactions. This allowed the experiment to focus on the dynamics of game play only.  The parameters for gameplay were: see how long it takes for the teams to get the three measures of the World Condition Meter all up to 8. Using the Zoom breakout room system, players were first split into rooms named for their team, and then play began.  Results First, the goal of Economy 8, Environment 8, and Society 8 was reached in just over 25 minutes. [Number of teams achieving team goals unconfirmed; if this information still exists, will be added here.] Second, to the delight of the players, the dynamics of gameplay itself were […]

by Skip Swanson, December 2020 Some personal thoughts about 2020 and the development of the online game: As we reach the end of the year, I’m feeling deeply into how much I miss meeting in person. Sharing a meal, having casual conversation, letting the nothing-specialness of being together be a space for anything to arise, free of any sense of artificial time restraints, free of the many awkwardnesses of navigating virtual spaces. Even as virtual connection has become part of the ‘new normal’, part of that sense of awkwardness is still noticeable to me in my now mostly online social life. The last English language 2030 SDGs Game Facilitator Training ended in early March of this year. We left Manila just in time for the team to get home as much of the world shut down travel, both within and beyond its borders. Just like many people throughout the world, and with physical contact not an option for the foreseeable future, as a team we turned our attention toward virtual spaces and began to explore new possibilities. Obviously, I’m talking about the development of an online game experience, but not only that: also, in the bigger picture, we have been asking each other over and over this question: “what new possibilities can we discover in online spaces that may not be accessible in a physical space?” I notice this question coming up in all of my circles. I trust that many of you have been asking similar questions this year and making your own discoveries. Personally, one thing I am deeply grateful for is this year’s gift of connection with my family. Most of my family live on a different continent from me, and I have happily seen more of them this year than in any other time of my […]

by Takeshi (Mura) Muranaka Six months after the initial conception, we finally have a beta version of the Online Game!!! There had been a call to develop an online version of the game for several years, but I was afraid that it would be impossible to recreate the power of the in-person game. Finally, this year Covid-19 pushed us into action and we have made it a reality. The process was a lot harder than I had imagined. For a whole month it looked like it would work but didn’t, and it seemed like we were endlessly finding and getting rid of bugs. I’m profoundly glad we have finally reached the beta stage. I have nothing but gratitude for the developer (designer), Y san. The responses from those who have tried the beta version is that there are learnings and possibilities with an online experience that are not possible with the in-person game. Some of those possibilities include comparing results with many other games and showing those results, and a great deal of other things that are only possible online. Our testing has been mostly in-house and it will still take a while before we are ready to release it to the public, but we thought you would be interested in knowing a bit more about the process, so I decided to write about it in blog form. By the way, here is an image of what the screen looks like right now. Isn’t it lovely!! It will change a little bit. You’re going to love it! (translated by Skip Swanson)

The 2030 SDGs Game is a multiplayer, in-person, card-based game that simulates taking the “real world” into the year 2030. By directly participating in creating our world together, attendees gain a deeper understanding of how all of us in the world are connected, and how each of us can be a starting point. Around 1000 certified facilitators worldwide have facilitated game events for over 250,000 participants. Learn more here