Shaping the Future of Chinatown with a Game

May 4, 2010 -

In a bid to drum up community involvement among residents of Boston’s Chinatown, local leaders commissioned the development of a videogame.

Participatory Chinatown was developed by project partner Muzzy Lane Software, in conjunction with the Asian Community Development Corporation (ACDC), Emerson College’s New Media program, and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC). Funding was provided by a grant from the MacArthur Foundation's Digital Media and Learning Competition.

A description of the game via the MAPC:

In Participatory Chinatown, community members complete “quests” as one of the game's virtual residents, allowing them to walk the neighborhood streets in someone else's shoes. There’s Hong, a recent immigrant seeking an apartment for his family; and Karen, a fourth-grade student searching the neighborhood for after-school activities. No matter which avatar they choose, game users will experience the multifaceted identities of Chinatown residents.

The game is available in both English and Chinese. It’s promised that in-game comments and decisions will be shared with “real-life decision makers.”

Holly St. Clair, Director of Data Services for the MAPC, on the game's goal, “Our hope is that when people have a collective experience through the video game, and then talk about it, they’ll gain a better understanding of the complexities of Chinatown, and then they can plan together for the future of their area.”

The game was unveiled to the community last night and should go live online shortly.


 
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NeenekoIt is long overdue, and things will probably settle down when they accept that the industry does not cater to them and them alone and go back to posturing within their own subculture.10/30/2014 - 10:10am
NeenekoThe community has always been split, with many factions within it, and they used to not interact all that much. Now they are having to confront they are not alone and thus not the one twue gamer identity.10/30/2014 - 10:09am
CMinerMW: The two are not mutually exclusive.10/30/2014 - 10:05am
Matthew Wilsonthe gaming community is going to split in to 2 groups. one wants games reviewed as product, and the other as art with all the social critique that comes with that. at this point i dont think it can be stopped sadly.10/30/2014 - 9:56am
NeenekoIt is a wonderful example of the heart of the issue, people accustomed to being part of defining value slamming into people who have other values.10/30/2014 - 9:53am
E. Zachary KnightAlso, this is a hillarious view of Kickstarter "Fine, still doesn't justify taking people's money they gave her to do a project for herself." talking about Sarkeesian.10/30/2014 - 9:35am
MaskedPixelantehttps://twitter.com/DanSlott/status/527814374459977728 One More Shot at Marriage.10/30/2014 - 8:44am
E. Zachary KnightApparently, it is ok to review a games art on whether or not you like the style, but not ok to review a game's story or theme based on whether or not you like or agree with it.10/30/2014 - 8:40am
MechaCrashComics never change because the people in charge now read comics when they were kids, and keep reverting comics to what they remember. As long as that cycle holds, change will be slow at best.10/30/2014 - 8:18am
Neeneko@ MechaTama31 - That is the big reason fansubs were tollerated for so long in the US, japanese studios kept watch to see which ones became popular via those networks.10/30/2014 - 8:11am
quiknkoldJournalists shouldnt be bigger than the stories they report or products they review.10/30/2014 - 7:48am
E. Zachary KnightHere is some food for thought for gamergaters who want politics out of games journalism. https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20141026/06425828942/journalists-need-point-view-if-they-want-to-stay-relevant.shtml10/30/2014 - 7:18am
quiknkoldI didnt say all games are like that, Conster. Princess Peach was....different. though I had fun with it.10/30/2014 - 7:00am
james_fudgehttp://www.somethingawful.com/news/gamergate-with-cats/10/30/2014 - 5:20am
MechaTama31AE: Japan's doujin scene illustrates an interesting potential solution to that problem. Let people play around with the characters, and keep an eye on things to see what people are buying.10/30/2014 - 12:07am
ConsterI bought, played and liked the game (unlike Smash Basketball *shakes fist*), but that felt iffy to me.10/29/2014 - 10:52pm
Consterquiknkold: if Super Princess Peach had been Super Prince Peach instead, do you think emotions would've been a mechanic?10/29/2014 - 10:51pm
quiknkoldcore meaning Colossus, Storm, Wolverine, and Nightcrawler10/29/2014 - 8:51pm
quiknkoldMatthew, those core x-men were together for almost 2 decades, until one would always be dead so they couldnt have them all together.10/29/2014 - 8:51pm
quiknkoldmore of an unknown. background characters mostly, who had a book but it was mostly a waste. they bring in this powderkeg of diversity and boom. now they could do the same thing and with the right artist and writer and mystique to it...10/29/2014 - 8:50pm
 

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