I am fascinated by the ways games can be used to help players process subconscious desires and anxieties. I designed a game to help the specific players come to terms with a polarized community who is struggling with moving beyond a stagnant legacy. I chose to design the game as a surprise role-playing experience for my friend’s birthday.  In it, participants chose being on the good/evil side, and produced a unknowing savior from them to lead them into battle. It’s archetypal nature unlocked collective healing, which you can see at the end. You can watch a behind the scenes video here.

The experience:
1. Lorenzo (unknowing birthday friend) is led into a field at dusk.
2. He is given a story of a battle to defend what we believe in.
3. His friends appear from the bushes and pledge their allegiance to him.
4. Then Lorenzo is asked if he would lead them into battle.
5. Lorenzo, not sure what was happening, is coerced to say he’d lead his army friends.
6. All of the sudden the “Dark Lord” appears and challenges him in a fight to the death.
7. Actors all appear and reveal foam weapons.
8. Lorenzo, still not knowing what was happening, is pushed to lead a charge into a growing fire ring.
9. His army defeats the Dark army, with the finale being his one-on-one faceoff against the Dark Lord.
10. Afterwards, we light of fireworks and drink mead.

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