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  • Game Design Challenge: Safety First!

    - Danny Cowan
  •'s Game Design Challenge is an exercise in becoming a game developer, asking you to look at games in a new way -- from the perspective of a game creator, producer, marketer, businessperson, and so forth.

    Every month, we'll present you with a challenge about developing video games. You'll have two weeks to brainstorm a brilliant solution (see below for how to submit your answers). After the two week submission period elapses, the best answers and the names of those who submitted them will be posted.

    The Challenge

    Design an educational game about public safety.

    Assignment Details

    From the crossing guard by your local elementary school to the yellow hard hats worn on construction sites, public safety is a recognizable and important part of our day-to-day lives. Traditionally, public safety education is delivered via signage, short films, and public service campaigns, but video games can also present a fun and engaging way to teach players valuable lessons about safety.

    Some recent examples include Google's Interland, which teaches kids the basics of online safety through a browser-based game, and the CDC's Solve The Outbreak, which informs players of real-world health risks through fictional epidemic scenarios.

    For Game Career Guide's latest Game Design Challenge, your job is to design an educational game about safety.

    Your game can explore any genre you wish - just make sure that its main focus is educating the player about safety issues. While you can cover multiple safety issues in one game, it's probably better to stick to just one for this contest. Some sample ideas include a hidden object game in which players must seek out unsafe or expired items in a grocery store, a point-and-click mystery where the main character must find out why an unsafe theme park ride keeps injuring guests, or a platformer set at a construction site where players have to identify, collect, and use safety equipment to finish the level. Make sure to think about how your gameplay can make safety lessons memorable and impactful for players, and have fun!

    To Submit

    Work on your ideas, figure out your strategy for coming up with a solution, and ask questions on the forums. When your submission is complete, send it to [email protected] with the subject line "Game Design Challenge: Safety First!" Please type your answer directly in the email body -- do not submit .pdf or Word documents.

    Submissions should be no more than 500 words and may contain up to three images. Be sure to include your full name and school affiliation or job title.

    Entries must be submitted by Wednesday, September 19.

    Results will be posted Tuesday, September 25.

    Disclaimer: is not responsible for similarities between the content submitted to the Game Design Challenge and any existing or future products or intellectual property.


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