Games Literacy

What even is a game??

1. With your group, come up with a definition of games. Discuss it what it might be, but don't worry about making it perfect. You'll revise it several times.

After a few minutes (maybe 5 max), write down or type up your definition, then scroll down.

2. As you scroll down you'll be presented with a series of games. For each one, stop and discuss as a group whether this game fits within your definition as it is current written.

If not, revise your definition to include it.

Read this instructions aloud, then scroll down to find the first game.

VESPER.5 by Michael Brough

"In this game, you may take one step each day, and then you must wait for the next day. If you wish to complete the game, you will have to make it a part of your life for at least 100 days."

In VESPER.5, the player plays a monk on a pilgrimage. Their goal is several screens to the right of where they start. The player may move the monk up, down, left or right. However, they may only move once every twenty-four hours. The next day, they will be able to make another move.

Bloody Mary (folk game)

From wikiHow:

"Go into the bathroom when it’s your turn and turn off the lights. Close the door behind you so it’s completely dark. Make sure no one followed you in. You have to be alone when you call Bloody Mary.

Place a candle on the sink in front of the mirror and light it.

Look into the mirror and say “Bloody Mary” 3 times. Keep your eyes open when you’re saying it. Make sure you speak slowly and clearly so Bloody Mary can hear you. Then wait for her to appear in the mirror."

The Tragedy of GJ237b by Aura Belle and P. H. Lee

"A role-playing game for no players." From the rules:

"As soon as humans arrived on GJ 237b, our very presence caused a catastrophe which destroyed not only the intelligent life, but their entire ecosystem....This game is about the societies and cultures of GJ 237b.

Materials for Play


Arrange the above-mentioned materials for play around a table in a room which is not part of a regularly trafficked area. Ideally, it should only have one door.

Playing the game

Stay outside the room. Do not go in.

The game, being played in the room, is about the history, societies and cultures of GJ 237b. It is not something that you can play, or even understand.

Do not enter the room. Don’t look at it, either.

Ending play

When someone opens the door, they are the human explorers that have arrived on GJ 237b. The game immediately ends. We do not play out the catastrophe."

FINALLY: Pick someone to share your definition with the class. We'll do that soon.