Coding and Game Design
September 2018 / January 2019
Made at HGK Basel — Digital Culture with Davis Theodore // Made with Andreas Solhøj Hansen and Alice Fada
Seeking Asylum is a board game designed to bring awareness to the migration crisis. While playing the participants face an inner struggle of having fun while dealing with the sensitive topic, which forces them to reflect upon the situation.
The idea for the project initially came from analysing UNHCR data about refugee admission in 32 European states in 2017.
The data are translated into a game in which two players compete against one another, one taking the role of a refugee and the other playing as a European border control (the specific state changes during the game). The goal of the refugee is to successfully gain asylum status in one of the 32 nations, while the player representing the state tries to prevent this from happening.
The game is generated with Basil.js, a programming language which allows the user to make computational and generative designs that run through InDesign. When the code runs, it generates 32 separate playing fields, and the data from UNHCR is translated into game elements within each field.
The final output forms a simulacrum of the refugee experience within the context of the migration crisis.