USC film students use immersive card game to drive collaborative creativity.

Typically, first year film students get the shaft, not touching a camera until their sophomore or junior years. However, University of Southern California freshmen got an early taste of collaborative filmmaking this fall when their School of Cinematic Arts introduced Reality, a card-collecting game that encourages participants to unite to create projects under a point system.

According to the USC Reality site, players obtain different cards that express one of four categories pertaining to project mediums and content: Maker, Property, Special, and People. Because participants receive different types of cards, the game connects students so they may foster media making habits. The game culminates in the web portal, which allows players to upload their content as well as rate their peers’ work. 

Game creator and Ph.D. candidate Jeff Watson explains:

From the beginning, the primary goal of the project was to get students talking, working, and forming lasting social bonds amongst the various divisions of the school … . The fact is that some students are more online-focused than others, and we didn’t want to make something that privileged that way of interacting.  A face-to-face mechanic, that prompted casual discussion and ramped up to collaboration was what was needed.

Maybe being a freshman doesn’t suck so much anymore?

-Lyndsey Edelman

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