Making Games Persuasive

Ian Bogost, Eric Zimmerman

“Persuasive Games” make arguments about how things in the world work, or how they could work differently. These are games that, through their design, build models of the opinions they advocate. However, this is more easily said than done: Making “ordinary” games is a difficult challenge in itself, but making games that are playable and also espouse an opinion about a complex issue is much harder. In this workshop, Bogost — who coined the term “Persuasive Games” — will introduce the concept through an understanding of “procedural rhetoric,” a mode of discourse that uses processes rather than words or images to make arguments. Then Bogost and Zimmerman will together lead a hands-on game design exercise in which participants will put these concepts to work to create their very own persuasive game. Please come to this workshop ready to tackle some challenging game design problems.

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