Category Archives: Project 16

Project 16: Week 5

For this week we were assigned to start the introduction part of our study. 

Describe the general topic of interest.
Body dysmorphic disorder, BDD, is a term used to describe those who find a flaw in their appearance and they are excessively preoccupied about that flaw. BDD is considered a mental disorder that is associated with an obsessive worry that one feature in appearance is very flawed and to fix this flaw people go through extensive approaches. Sometimes the flaw is not that noticeable but to that individual it is severely exaggerated. They spend a numerous amount of time mirror gazing and constantly comparing themselves with “ideal” body. According to the DSM-5, BDD is under the obsessive compulsive spectrum and can be linked to anorexia nervosa. It is most common during adolescence and it affects both men and women equally. About 2.4% of the population suffers from this disorder. As a result of this disorder these individuals tend to avoid social situations and being exposed. BDD is a silent disorder as it has been underdiagnosed and often time can lead to suicide. Treatments go from “cognitive behaviour therapy and  selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in high doses for at least 12 weeks” (Veale, 2004).

Describe what work has been done in the field.
BDD is often linked to high rates of depression and suicide. Most patients go beyond their expectations and perform do it yourself cosmetics surgery. These patients are often reported to be the most discontent with their results and have a poor quality of life. Research has shown that these patients are often more distressed than those patients diagnosed with depression, bipolar disorder and diabetes(Veale, 2004). They often find comfort in alcohol and withdraw themselves from any social situation. Kunstman (2015), conducted a study correlated the ability to detect internal bodily sensations and BDD. This study showed that there was an inverse correlation between these two factors. Another study conducted by Ritter (2014) reported that imagery rescripting for patients with BDD showed an improvement in the two week follow up. This study however is an individual case study which only shows results from one patient opposed to a higher demography. A study by Buhlmann (2015) showed that cognitive behavioral models were helpful to determine social anxiety disorder and body dysmorphic disorder cases and treatment. The study resulted in an overall poor performance in mindreading tasks for patients with BDD and SAD.

Describe what work needs to be done, or what gaps exist in our knowledge.
There are many studies that show an approach to therapy to treat patients with BDD but most of them do not find benefits to antipsychotic drugs or other forms of psychotherapy. There are not many options besides therapy to help patients avoid becoming surgery addictive patients. Cosmetic surgery should be avoided in all cases because many of these patients undergo thousands of surgical procedures just to remain uncomfortable in their bodies. Many of these studies lack the behavioral therapy that can be further supplemented. Most of these patients do not respond to treatment dealing with antipsychotic drugs but they respond to antidepressant drugs.

Discuss how your study will fill those.
The gold standard psychological remedy for BDD is cognitive behavioral therapy. With therapy through a game based learning intervention this study hopes to reinforce the gold standard and to help the patient deal with situation that cause fear and social anxiety. This approach also hopes to reduce the chances that BDD patients will undergo cosmetic surgery.

State your thesis as a prediction.
It is predicted that within the population of at risk BDD individuals that a game based learning intervention might reduce the chances of them becoming surgery addicted patients and ultimately suicide opposed to that population that doesn’t receive game based intervention.



Project 16: Week 4



In the upcoming weeks, I will be designing a game that will focus on a cognitive process and socially relevant.

The research project must relate to Psychology.
The cognitive process that I will be studying is perception.The only process that seems to be affected is perception. People with Body Dysmorphic Disorder have a distorted image of their own appearance. There is not a term for addiction but there is a psychological disorder that contributes to surgery addicts. There is not a term for the addiction, but there is a recognized psychological disorder that affects some surgery addicts. It is called “body dysmorphic disorder” (BDD), and sufferers have a distorted image of their own appearance. This is sometimes manifested as disapproval after surgery is performed, leading to another surgery to correct the apparent flaws. Because of the high costs of plastic surgery, this disorder is usually apparent only in the very wealthy.

The research project must be socially relevant.
There are a few people who are addicted to surgeries and are constantly going back into surgical rooms. Then there is a large population who suffer from body dysmorphic disorder. This study is socially relevant as I want to avoid that larger population of people to fall into those surgery addicted individuals.

The research project must be original work that has not been done in the field yet.
It will address the problem that teens are not content with their image and that they should learn to appreciate and accept their bodies so that they do not become surgery addicts. Journal articles such as Body Dysmorphic Disorder by Veale (2003) show that mirror gazing and constant comparisons are many of the forms of time consuming activities that these people face with. It also shows that they see their bodies as distorted. Many of these articles show that bullying and abuse can lead to this. I would want to properly inform these patients with BDD about the risks of falling into the category of those who go through many surgical procedures.

The research project must interest you.
I believe this research interests me because there are a lot of beauty standards in this generation that are affecting the way young children and adolescents perceive themselves. Many of them have low self esteem issues. I would like to see what affects people to become surgery addicts.

It is predicted that the larger population who is affected with body image issues and BDD are less likely to fall into the category of small population who is addicted to surgical procedures if they are more aware of the cause of their body image issues.

Project 16: Week 3

A Critical Review of Parable of the Polygons

Parable of the Polygons is a web game developed by Nicky Case and Vi Hart.  This game is an explorable explanation of systemic bias and diversity. Game theory was used to explain how small individual biases can accumulate into large institutional biases. And also used cute shape-people. Segregation has never been so adorable!

The game is trying to make us see how the choices we make can bring about harmful consequences. The learning experiences we face are relatable as we can see the results of moving from stable places to unstable places.  The dominant form of interaction would be that the player is moves the pieces from place to place. It supports the learning objective as you are seeing for yourself what your actions are constructing. The system that is most affected is the social factor because you are seeing that harmless choices can make harmful communities.

There is only one player and it is yourself. There are a lot of other shapes in the game that make up the community. The objective is for the pieces to be cooperative but unfortunately they also compete with one another,
The objective of this game is to show us that our actions can have harmful consequences. Moving the game pieces and seeing how they react in the place you put them was a good reinforce to see the actions you commit.
The rules of the game change as there a lot of mini games within this one game. The rules are simple you have to create a community that the polygons are happy in. Some of the communities like being biased and other communities like being unbiased. There aren’t a lot of money related issues in this game. You do not have to spend anything or buy things within the game.
The conflict is explained within every mini game that you play. Before you begin the game it tells you that there are some polygons that like to be surrounded by other polygons like them. They are resolved if you effectively make a community based on those standards. They prevent the polygons from being placed next to each other as they frown and not be content. This limitation is fun because you have to keep looking for a place that will make the polygons happy. The end of the game is when you finished the last min game and you have experienced what it is like to make harmless choices and still create a chaotic community of polygons.

The main character is us as we play and are in control of the polygons. We get to play as the polygons. The challenges are that some polygons do not get a long with each other. Under given circumstances they want to be in groups of polygons that are the same but they want to be surrounded by other groups of polygons. It takes place in a biased and unbiased community. The general premise of the world is that although our choices may not seem harmful they can turn into bad consequences. The story has an emergent narrative because they vary on the choices you make. The players interactions are what make up the story and the narrative. The game is playful as it challenges you to make choices. You do not know whether they will be right or wrong but it is fun. I think explorers would enjoy this game the most because you get to explore the consequences of placing the polygon in a wrong spot. Tension and resolution are controlled through the placement of the polygons. It creates conflict because you have to follow the rules that dictate where these polygons want to live.

The objects in the game are moved around from place to place.
There are no properties required because you are just moving game pieces.
You have to drag the unhappy polygons into a place when they are happy. You get to use your mouse and do so. The relationships are either happy or unhappy for the polygons and they get harder as each game goes on.
It does not exist as an economy because there are no economical factors.
The systems that emerge are that each action you make and the time you take to make the community happy are shown through a table. They are procedural generated as they are shown in the graph after you are done.
The mini games to come are hidden because you have to pass each game to get to the more advances ones. The exposed factors are the one’s that tell you what the community of polygons wants and how they want to live.

The game is fully functional as it has a good working premise, conflict and learning objective. The game is complete because all the factors of choices and consequences are present. The game is very well balanced. There is dominant strategy as time is being imposed. You want to do well and in a short period of time.

The game is engaging because it enables you to see that the innocent choices we make can have a harmful consequences. The elements promote that you look at the consequences of your choices. The choices are meaningful because they show is the consequences we have to face with when we place the wrong polygon in the wrong places. There aren’t any parts that are boring. The community board however does get bigger and it can be tedious to complete but after a while it gets fun again. There are arbitrary windfalls are the polygons are not always content. The game is fairly easy to play as there is a story behind every game. It takes about 5 minutes top to learn the game. The players learn to play through the mini back stories before the game.

Project 16: Week 2

A Critical Review of Start the Talk 

Start the Talk is a web game developed by Kognito. Kognito is a team whose core approach is based on research in neuroscience, social cognition and game mechanics. Users move through realistic scenarios at an individual pace. They practice and role-play real life situations by talking with virtual humans, building their skills in motivational interviewing and other evidence-based communication techniques.

Screenshot of Start the Talk

In Start the Talk you get to choose which parent avatar you wan to be and which kid avatar you want to hold the conversation with. After you chose your avatars the game begins the conversation and gives you option and actions to engage with.

The objective of this game to promote the importance of underage drinking. It is trying to teach an approach to educate and build trust with your kids about this subject. Knowing how to communicate with a kid can be tough and that is the objective of the game, it shows us that saying the wrong thing can alter the conversation. The dominant form of interaction the player has with the game is that the player is the main avatar as they play the parent role of the game. This supports the learning objective because we are trying to communicate and grow a bond with the kids. The social process is the most affected by the game design because it is opening the door of communication between an adult and a kid. This is the main goal of the game as it shows us how to try to get a point across and how saying the wrong thing can bring consequences.

There are two avatars present in the game at a time, the parent which I got to play as and the kid. The players in this game can interact both competitively and cooperatively with each other as their actions dictate which way they can go. The player in the game interact cooperatively because its objective is to achieve all the goals of the game. The objective of the game is to develop the conversational strategies and the confidence necessary to approach, educate and build trust with kids about drinking.The objective of the game is to earn different reward badges through the things you tell the kid. There are badges such as knowledge and care. There aren’t a lot of rules to the game. You are holding a conversation between the avatars and you have to get your point across about the importance of underage drinking. They complement the game because they help you make your point. The game prevents the player from behaving a certain way by giving it options to respond and actions to take during every move. It is fun because you are restricted to give certain responses and actions. It makes it harder to achieve the objective which is a great motivator. The game ends when you have most of your badges accomplished which means you have discussed underage drinking to some extent with your kid.

The main character is the avatar you chose to be. The motivation comes from earning badges through the actions you take. The relationship between the avatars is parent and kid. The challenges presented are how to talk about underage drinking and most importantly how to bring it up with your child. There are a lot of communication skills that have to be mastered and learned.
The game takes place in the kitchen of the house. The premise is learning how to speak about difficult topics with your children, in this case underage drinking and its effects. The story is linear as one action leads to the next and each action affects the other. The players communicate with one another based on the action that I as the parent did. The game is playful because it gives you different actions to chose from to speak with the child. Constructive play is mostly present as you have to build trust and communication with your kid. Achievers would mostly enjoy this game because they would try to achieve all the badges of the game. The tensions and resolutions are controlled with the actions that are given to us after the tension is presented. The story shows us conflict can happen when you try to communicate with your children and that every action we take can lead into the wrong conversation.

The badges being awarded are objected being used to build the game.
There are not many object properties being required for the game systems.
The objective behaviors are that you have to chose from different things to say every time. The relationships are very interactive because it is a one on one conversation between parent and kid. The controls are the options to say to the kid. New systems that emerge from game play are derived from the options of conversation that you. These are procedural driven as they are generated from the previous action you took, The system exposes the responses that the parent can make but they never expose what the kid is going to do or say. This is what makes the game entertaining because you do not know how the kid will react to what you say and it also makes it more realistic.

The game is fully functional because all of the elements are in place.
The game is complete because the objective can be reached even when obstacles are present. This game is balanced as it has all the elements to get the underage drinking problem across to the kid. A dominant strategy is that they repeat actions and dialogue to cue that you have to get that point out in the conversation. The game is symmetrical

The game is engaging as it keeps you alert and attentive with the dialogue you are having with your kid. The elements present like the distractions and prior knowledge to the topic of underage drinking presented through the video given before the game. The choices that are meaningful are the one’s that do not attack the kid and put them in an uncomfortable position.They relate to the game as they help you get the point across about speaking about the actions and consequences of underage drinking. There are no parts that are broken because the game makes it easy for you to approach all of these interactions between parents and kid. The game in my perspective was not boring, it was quite nerve racking because there were parts when I did not know how my kid was going to react. There are arbitrary windfalls that lead to the kid wanting to leave to the movies already because they don’t want to talk anymore but you can always say something to earn more time with them and a badge. The game is fairly easy to play and not boring easy. It takes anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes to play and learn this game. The players learn to play as they proceed in the game because each action and dialogue drives where they conversation will go.

Kognito. ABOUT. Games for play. Retrieved from

Project 16: Week 1

A Critical Review of Lim 

Lim is a web game developed by Merritt Kopas. Kopas is a multimedia artist, game designer, and writer. She is well known for her creation of Lim, HUGPUNX and Consensual Torture Simulator. Lim is a game based on violence and more importantly about the violence of standing out. It is a very simple game as you are not told what to do except to follow a maze. The object of this game is “to convey care relationships; either to provide a sense of care to the player or to invest her in the project of caring for another” (Kopas, n.d.).

Screen Shot By BenSpalding | Published May 31, 2013

In Lim players navigate a maze through a multi-colored square, they encounter brown and dark blue blocks throughout the series of  different rooms. These blocks react violently to the player’s presence in each room and they shake aggressively and seek to collide with the player. As the game progresses the blocks tend to push the player’s block around. As a result they can kick the block out of the maze entirely and force them to continue the game from the outside, which happened to me. This isolates the player from the experience of the game inside the maze.

The game teaches about violence and about being attacked when you stand out from the crowd and even when you try to blend in. The player, being us, has to navigate through a maze using the arrows on the keyboard. The player navigates the game as a multi-colored square, this is what supports the purpose of blending in and standing out from the other squares. This game design is mostly affected by social processes because of the experience of violence in blending in.

There is one player that is controlling the game, there are computer programmed blocks that are acting as the other players trying to isolate and bully the block that is being controlled. The players are competitive as they go against each other. They complement the game as they show us that being isolate can result from trying to blend in with the crowd. The items that are being accrued would have to be the coding for the game and the computer where everything is being done. The conflict in the game is that there are instances where the other blocks make it impossible for the player to get into the other room. Even with blending in with them they make it ever harder to move. The game ends when you reach the last block and both of the blocks begin to flash. In my case I reached the end from outside of the maze and when the block both began to flash in different color there screen became black. The outcome shows you whether or not you are capable of taking the attacks of the other blocks or whether or not you get blocked before reaching the end.

The main player would be the block that we are controlling. The motivation is to get to the end of the maze. The relationship between the character and the player is one to one because wherever we move the key is where the character (block) goes. If we decide to give up the block gives up as well. I think this game is an emergent narrative because it puts the player in a extra-normal situation which shows whether or not they can handle the violence from the blocks. The interactions measure if the player can sustain patience to violence and reach the end or not.  It is prevalent as it gives you barriers to try and get to the next room and closer to the end. I think the socializers would most likely enjoy this game because there is a lot of role play to interpret from playing the game.

Since it is a HTML coding based game, the objects are simple colored blocks.
You have to move the player block with the arrow keys in the keyboard.
You move left, right, up and down and navigate through the maze.
The basic relationships are that you navigate as a block throughout the maze and avoid getting beaten by the other blocks. We as the players control the system.

The game is fully functional as it doesn’t glitch. It is complete as it has a beginning and end. All voices are being represented. The game is not balanced because there are a lot of opposing blocks in each room that make it difficult to escape and continue to the next room. The game is not symmetrical because you do not know if moving a certain way will result in the blocks attacking you or not. The imbalance is intentional to emulate the experience of violence and blending in.

This game is easy to play but it requires a lot of patience. It took me about 30 minutes with breaks to learn the game and finish it. You learn to play the game through exploring the maze and seeing that each block does to your block when you go from room to room, if you get the chance to move and make it to the end.

Kopas, M. ABOUT. merritt kopas. Retrieved from