Jane McGonigal is a consummate game designer. She just finished her PhD at Berkeley, focused on ludology, and she’s worked on a number of important ARGs, including The Go Game, The Beast, I Love Bees, and Last Call Poker.
Last Sunday, I dragged Becca up to Dolores Park to playtest Jane’s newest game, cruel 2 b kind. It’s basically Assassins, that age-old dorm favorite, but with a couple twists.
The game is condensed into a couple hours, instead of a few weeks, which makes it both more fun and doable for normal people. More importantly, you play in public places, which adds a lot more suspense. You never know for sure who’s playing and who’s not…until you kill them, of course, or they kill you.
For more, check out Jane’s liveblog and recap of the playtest. Sadly, due to a technical glitch, Becca and I didn’t actually get to play. It was the world premiere, though, so it’s understandable that they’re working out the kinks.
If you’re in the Bay Area or New York, sign up for the next playtest!