Courage is a persistent, distributable Collaborative Production Game focused on drawing yourself into real world challenges involving collaboration, production and personal goals. On the surface Courage explores our understanding of courage and culture.
The game’s (optional) Scottish theme could be mistaken for a narrow nationalism. However, the gameplay is not about nationalism - it sets out to promote appreciation of a mix of cultures and ideas. This is put in place by shifting from a regional focus to a connected global model within the gameplay - and by looking at how differences can add instead of subtract.
Courage’s wider aims include:
• Offering young adults and adults untethered, self-directed production gaming. This includes no requirements for passwords/ registration or frequent web access, no need for a reference website and, most importantly, starting from a position of player choice.
• Suggesting straightforward ways for parents and carers to get involved in young peoples’ learning on a variety of easily accessible levels.
• Presenting an inexpensive, layered gaming envelope and informal open learning model easily replicated and maintained by teachers, librarians, games designers and/ or young people.
• Connecting and sampling game formats to enable persistent gaming within gameplay differentiated by ease of access and depth of learning. E.g. mixing elements of Collaborative Production Gaming and solo gamebooks.
• Delivering player ownership through player choice and removing, flattening or lowering bars to progression.
• Being open to player or tutor tethering to a wide range of attainment and wider achievement opportunities.
• Raising questions and presenting options concerning employability, social concerns and the functions of gaming and permeable fingertip learning.
• Populating Internet users’ online experience with a repertoire of meaningful sites and experiences.
Within that framework the game asks how we can promote negotiated change where there seems to be little room for negotiation. That includes exploring:
• Creative and constructive alternatives to direct confrontation.
• Non-aggressive, non-intrusive lobbying and activism.
Plans for developing Courage focus on refining the format and increasing the persistence of the standalone version. The Web version is about to receive the update applied to the PDF in recent days, but the intention is that the gameplay should become as untethered as possible. Put simply the players’ personal ‘portfolio’ and ‘Missions Record’ is intended as the primary focus for players’ attention.
In addition, Courage connects to two related projects that are under slow, but continuous, development. The first is a less web dependent solo or team game along similar lines to Courage, but aimed at a younger audience and focused on ‘imagination’. The second develops the solo gameplay book model to equip children and young adults with planning and decision making skills, including learning to evaluate risk in relation to outcomes. These ‘modules’ set out to establish a platform, which prepares players with critical thinking skills likely to be of use when playing Courage and comparable games.