Materiality and Prototyping

The games philosopher, Ian Bogost discusses in his book ‘Alien Phenomenology, Or, What It’s Like to be a Thing‘, the idea that making something work is a complex process that he defines as ‘carpentry’. The carpenter undertaking the complex process of making something work must also combat the material resistance associated with the object, making the object itself a philosophy. This is evident in the practice of board game making, as developing a board game requires heavy analysis of the materials used to make the game and if those materials are appropriate for the type of game being created.

For example, a game that revolves around moving from one point to another will require pieces that demonstrate the moving process across the board. This transitions to another point made by Bogost regarding philosophical carpentry, the actual sense of the philosophy and it’s effect on the world around it.

boardgamesVarious board game materials

In relation to my individual game and the ideas I discussed in my previous post, I have decided to not pursue any of the ideas I listed in my top 10 game ideas. However, I will be creating a game based on personal interests, something I feel is greatly important when creating any project of high quality. The game I will be creating is called ‘Hypebeast Fashion Match’, a card game where players select cards in the categories of tops, bottoms, shoes and accessories, and then create an outfit using one card from each category to be judged by another player during the round.

The term ‘Hypebeast Fashion‘ refers to fashion pieces that have a sense of ‘hype’ around them due to exclusivity or popularity of a brand. Hypebeast fashion items sit within the streetwear scene and are usually expensive. A Hypebeast is someone who collects these types of clothes. This concept was similarly explored in a Hypebeast version of monopoly called ‘Flexopoly’. Denoting the term ‘flex‘, a slang word meaning show off. In the case of Hypebeast culture, flexing is showing off the expensive clothes and/or brands.

https _hk.hypebeast.com_files_2018_01_streetwear-version-of-monopoly-flexopoly-1

I have created a prototype of my game, consisting of 20 cards (5 from each category) . Undertaking the process of prototyping and playtesting is important when developing a board game, it allows understanding of which aspects of your game work well and what needs improvement (Viktorov, T 2015).

‘Hypebeast Fashion Match’ prototype

Regarding the philosophical carpentry of my individual game, players are able to experience expensive fashion items and the process of choosing an outfit without the association of cost or availability of exclusive pieces. The game removes these elements from the concept of Hypebeast Fashion.

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