USHMM challenged us to create an interactive experience that could engage young visitors in the museum and help process the gravity of the content they saw while at the museum even after their visit. USHMM saw that young visitors to the museum were often so struck by the gravity of the history of the Holocaust that they often disengaged with the material after leaving or had difficulty processing it.
USHMM wanted to challenge the notion that games couldn’t be an effective way to get people to engage with serious and important content.
As a response, my team developed joind, a game in which players receive texts from multiple characters whose stories are inspired by real, historical accounts of teenagers living under fascist reign. The game is meant to provoke teenage players to think about ethics, group think, peer pressure, and activism.
We began by paper prototyping joind. We made a text-like application by scrolling long rolls of paper through "screens" made from card stock. We acted as the computer on one side of the table and players stood on the opposite side reading the incoming "texts" from the characters in our game.
We tested the final prototype with teens at USHMM and used the feedback for future iterations.