The Game Retreat:
On the weekend of January 21st in Peace Village, 11 young adults from the Spotlight Values team met with 9 students from the Champlain Emergent Media Center to explore the possibility of creating a video game for teens and young adults that would lead them into a spiritual and practical experience of values.
On Friday evening, the SV team led them through an “Om Café” to paint a picture of the exploration that happens with values at any Spotlight Values event. Over coffee and chai, we had conversations about the depths of the value of love and did an art activity in which we created hand murals filled with images and symbols connected with our personal experience of the value. The ideas that emerged were inspiring, deep and provocative.
The following morning, the students took us step by step us through the creative animation process of designing a video game. In the afternoon, Ann De Marle , the director of the Emergent Media Center, divided us into groups that were mixed with SV team members and media students . She launched a productive brainstorm session that seeded some wonderful and creative ideas.
Many of the ideas had common elements. We all seem to want the game to have an emotional feeling of mystery, curiosity and a spirit of exploration in which the player enters into various worlds and/or rooms where they are invited to explore values through the choices they make. The game world would then bring to life the outcome of those choices.. One of the games we explored creating was called “Light”. The player would enter at the base of a golden staircase. Then they would ascend those stairs and see a circle of four doors glowing, each with a different color light. In the center of the room would be a dim crystal. Each door they would enter into would represent a different value and invite them to make choices to use that value in a creative way. When they master the levels of that world, they will leave it and find that the crystal in the center of the room has become more beautiful. After exploring each door, their crystal and the beauty of its light would depend upon the choices they made throughout the game. We spoke about he possibility of having a wise old woman as the guide that comes in and out to give them hints as they need it. There would also be the option in the game to do a 5-10 second meditation if they are confused about what to do next. This meditative pause would enable them to access hints and clues to move forward.
At the end of the game, they would be able to email the crystal they created to peers and they would receive a blessing from the old wise woman. There were many other great ideas and several different directions this could go in, but that just paints a picture of what was emerging in the groups.
Our vision is to continue to meet together to create a game that would bring values to life in a fun and exploratory way. We are now waiting on them to give us feedback about next steps. What we can all say for sure is that something magical happened between us all.