COVID19, Physical Distancing, Isolation, Exercise, Mental Health & Games

I think that relevance is key in any product’s ideation is key. Thus my game aims to combat the severe boredom that many are currently facing around the globe due to COVID-19. 

Theme

There are two themes in which I currently intend to base my game around. These are (a) strength and or fitness, and (b) the internet, whether the game is web based, app based or using a common external program (more on this later). 

Audience 

I think that if I go down the strength/fitness game route it will be most appealing to young adults. However I don’t believe this narrows it down too much as there is definitely a global interest due to the current climate. 

Experience

It is crucial, like any game, but especially for my own that it is enjoyable to play, and encourages laughter and stimulates conversation within the group of players. Recent studies have shown that mental health has taken a dive, with ‘The Conversation’ writing “COVID-19 could lead to an epidemic of clinical depression”. A good way to combat the risk of mental illness under the current isolation and physical distancing is to exercise. Health Direct states that physical activity can have many mental health benefits including but not limited to – reducing stress, depression and anxiety.

I would like the game mechanics to allow for as many people as possible to play. I also want the game to be simple and easy to pick-up, so when or if there are lots of participants, play can get up and running quickly.

It’s also an obvious requisite because of COVID-19 that the game is played at home, probably online. Whether this is done web-based, app based or through an existing platform, for example facebook messenger, facetime, whats app or more recently (and most probably) ZOOM. ZOOM is a video conferencing program, whose popularity is rapidly rising. Not only is zoom already popular among my audience, the mechanic’s of the software align with my own, with ZOOM allowing up to 100 player on the free version of their site.

The exact details around how the game will operate, the story, instructions etc are unclear. Ironically though I plan to look into different drinking games and maybe implement some ideas from there, replacing drinking with some sort of physical item whether it be push-ups or other exercises alike.

Timeline

In regards to a timeline for my project – I plan to refine each aspect of the game every week until week eight where I have a fully conceptualized version. First looking into ZOOM and its features and note down anything that I may be able to work with; Research current games that utilize ZOOM; look into current fitness activities at home; dive into the mechanics of some existing drinking games. Posting each week’s discoveries onto subreddits specific to the findings for example r/fitness r/fitnessgames r/games r/webgames. In the later weeks I plan to start to ideate these findings and drill down on the game’s specifics

 

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