I have a lot of heroes who I follow and who I consider influential, but since my world in game design, I really focus on people who combine the world of politics with the world of game design. There are many ways in which they have been combined; Brody Condon and Anne-Marie Scheiner, Jane McGonigal (designer of this game), Katharine Neil, Eddo Stern, and many more.
The two I want to mention here are:
Gonzalo Frasca - he mixes business with politics by running Powerful Robot Games
, designed the very excellent September 12
to demonstrate the madness of enterining into a conflict with a grief culture.
Mary Flanagan - An educator and academic who has begun her own group, Tiltfactor Lab
, whose slogan is Game Design for Social Change.
They are both inspirations in putting together my work practice and realising that entrepreneurship and social change are not mutually exclusive. Social change, as a way of describing political change as well as 'innovation', which EVOKE does well, is a different beast. The biggest obstacles to getting lasting change occuring are not mystical ideas like 'the status quo', but real and embodied interests and institutions. Those things need to be dealt with. They need to be discussed. They need to be worked on.