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Is there a need for a digital (remote) version of the Blockchain game?

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I designed the blockchain game as an interactive session in a room with participants. The first version was constructed as a session that was expected to be run once or a couple of times. This grew into multiple versions of the experience.

Versions of the game

  • the original full version – consisting of 3 levels, gradually building to a full paper blockchain in level 3
  • the so-called level 1+ version – a shorter version (originally built for a small group of participants) combining level 1 of the full version with some elements from level 3 – building a much simpler paper blockchain in less time – this version is suitable for small (3) to large (250+) audiences.
  • the second iteration of the full game – still consisting of 3 levels, but level 3 now incorporates smart contracts (in paper form).
  • the SXSW version – a completely new design, not just visually but also the game-play differs. This version was created specifically to be played at the South by SouthWest festival / conference in Austin (Texas, US) in March 2019.

COVID and digital version

Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, all games became impossible. The game is an in-person session and those were put on hold. One of our facilitators tried a couple of trials with the level 1+ version through Zoom. This was not a success.

I have an idea on how to adapt the SXSW version to a webpage based gameplay. Some of the elements are:

  • everyone is connected to the experience in a Zoom / Meet / Teams session with the facilitator
  • every participant plays her/his own table (node)
  • the game mechanics are run through a web-application where every participant joins with their own unique code (unique to this game and the participant in the game)
  • the game master controls how the game progresses in the application
  • application takes care of distribution of transaction-cards from node to node and recording transactions in the local ledger
  • the participant still needs to perform all the validation checks, now through the web application

Future gameplay

This new version of the blockchain game enables games to be played during periods where we cannot get together to play in the same room. And it also allows for multi-location gameplay in the future. Another option is to enable the application on laptops and/or tablet/phones during physical gameplay. This decreases the amount of physical materials needed and also makes the game more sustainable.

So maybe the effort to create the web application and adapt the slides should be made.

What do you think?

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