SimsGo: A Veil of Ignorance Game

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Veil of Ignorance” refers to philosopher John Rawls’ method of making policies without self interest. In his thought experiment, people who are making political decisions do not know the particular set of traits and status they will have in this new social order. Thus, people legislate based upon moral considerations only.

SimsGo is a new take on an old game — Sims — that seeks to put users into dissimilar roles in the new society they define. The goal is to espouse more respect and understanding for other people who are from different backgrounds, and to be more aware of one’s self interest in policy making.

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Logistics

  • Target audience: children, teens, and young adults. The younger a person is, the more impressionable they tend to be. Millennials are also likely to be smartphone users.
  • Marketing: advertise this new game on app stores, as well as in chain restaurants such as McDonalds and Fridays that have younger patrons. 
  • Budget: should be fairly manageable given this is a smartphone app.

Immersive Experience/ “Story Line”

  1. First, the user inputs their definition for the new society before knowing what their role will be. A host of questions will be asked and the user uses the slider to determine where on the spectrum their world lies. Sample questions include: What kind of government? How to tax? Demographic diversity? Socioeconomic diversity?
  2. Then, the user inputs their actual traits. The data collected contains information on gender, age, cultural background, political leanings, and financial status. 
  3. Afterwards, the user determines how different they want to be in the SimsGo game. The minimum amount of change is 50%
  4. SimsGo then assigns a site and a character to the user, at which points it becomes similar to the regular Sims game. 
  5. However, after a certain period of time, the user can make changes to their world and potentially be assigned a new character.

Outcomes
As the user goes through “life” in this new society, they take note on how they are faring and potential improvements that could be made. When the user changes the parameters of their world, a potential new role could be assigned, which means their circumstances will change once again. 

Thus, after iterations, the user will be more holistic in their decision calculus.

Posters made with Illustrator, graphics from the Sims game

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