Design for Discomfort: Journey #1

Journey #1: Start from Form
Attending networking events or parties by myself and talking to strangers causes me and lots of other people social anxiety. I wanted to create a journey in the form of a game on a mobile phone to simulate a party, a conference, or networking scenario to help a viewer/participant mentally prepare for the uncomfortable situation. Instead of playing a meditation or mindfulness app to help bring the mind to a calmer state, I’m hoping that a game to play before an event can help the user figure out conversation starters and maybe alleviate their anxiety with repetition of a scenario that could possibly rewire the brain as to not be so anxious.

It’s Open, Come In…
The participant goes through the doors and is given choices:

A. Start Mingling
B. Head for the beverage and snack table
C. Run to the Bathroom
D. Look at phone

If the player starts mingling with the guests, the more conversations he or she has, the more points the player earns. And with each guest that the player converses with, the more personalities (whether outgoing, shy, into science, pop culture, politics, religion, history, etc…) the player is exposed to for conversation starters. Also through these interactions, there will be a ongoing conversation throughout the party about finding the mystery guest who has all the inside knowledge, like which waiter has the good bottle of wine. If the player can find the mystery guest and the waiter with the good wine (recommended by the mystery guest), the player wins the game.

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