Hybrid Talk | Using Games to Tackle Wicked Problems and Make Worlds

Tuesday, November 14, 2023 7:00 pm - 8:15 pm

UChicago Yuen Campus in Hong Kong
168 Victoria Road, Mount Davis
Hong Kong


This talk explores ways that gameplay and game design help us think about some of the most pressing issues of our time — from climate change to the spread of emerging infectious diseases. Following an overview of the concepts of “serious games” and “critical making,” Professor Jagoda offers a series of four cases of digital, analog, and mixed reality games that he co-directed and created at the University of Chicago across several labs, including the Game Changer Chicago Design Lab, the Fourcast Lab, and the Weston Game Lab.  

These projects show how games can help us understand and intervene in today’s most urgent wicked problems. First, Cene (2022) is an alternate reality game developed as a three-week climate change curriculum for middle school environmental science classes and was piloted in three schools in Chicago for over 350 students. Second, Caduceus Quest (2023) is a video game designed to increase high school students’ science knowledge, professional pathways to science fields, and civic engagement. Third, Hexacago Health Academy (2015-2024) is a multi-year public health program in the form of a game design curriculum in which high school students create board games about wicked problems such as the spread of infectious diseases, food insecurity, and structural violence. Fourth and finally, Encounter (2024) is a live-streaming improvisational game in which players at home interact with a live actor to tell unique stories together about topics ranging from mental health issues to the proliferation of artificial intelligence. Across these cases, Professor Jagoda discusses how worldbuilding, storytelling, and gameplay can invite players, from middle school students to adults, to address both the personal and social dimensions of wicked problems. 


Patrick Jagoda 
Professor of English and Cinema and Media Studies
Faculty Director of the Weston Game Lab and the Media Arts and Design Minor
The University of Chicago
Co-founder of the Game Changer Chicago Design Lab and the Transmedia Story Lab

In-person Event

November 14, 2023 (Tuesday)

7:00 pm Guest Presentation
7:45 pm Q & A
8:15 pm Event Ends


Online Webinar

November 14, 2023
8:00 pm    Japan | South Korea 
7:00 pm    Hong Kong | Beijing | Singapore 
4:30 pm    Delhi 
12:00 pm   Paris 
11:00 am    London 
5:00 am    Chicago 


About /pɒp/Asia

The UChicago Yuen Campus /pɒp/Asia series will address topics that originate, revolve around and affect the Asia-Pacific Region. From music and anime to tattoos and the exploding interest in crypto currencies, we’ll explore the cultural goings-on in deep corners around the region and how they are influencing the rest of the world. Read more.