The Final Project is due Thursday, December 12 at 1pm

Project Objective

  • A game prototype that allows multiple player (I.e. 2+) to engage in a collaborative process wherein a poem (or series of poems) is produced.
  • It can include any mechanics and materials you wish.

Team Structure

You can work in a team or your choice or go completely solo. It’s up to you.


  • November 14: initial concepts presented to Prof. Anna Purves. Work in class with Prof. Purves to work out ideas.
  • November 21: initial prototypes presented for user testing with Profs. Purves and Schwittek
  • November 28: Thanksgiving!
  • Dec 5: Work in class on prototypes for final presentation on December 12th
  • December 12: Final prototype presentations and user testing with outside visiting critics.

Suggested mechanics

  • Writing and depositing: because this game requires that a poem be created, it seems natural that users would be given the chance to provide their own verbal content. What’s more, assuming the game rules are simple, allowing users to get creative about adding content will help achieve emergent gameplay.
  • Drawing cards or slips of paper: a lot can be achieved with cards – randomness, building (think Oregon Trail), trading… it’s a good way to keep a game flowing, and can work well with words.
  • Timed events: I like to spend time writing and re-writing poems, but it may be interesting to time the gameplay of a poetry-based game to force the creative urges to come forward.
  • King of the Hill
  • Voting
  • Tile Placement
  • I cut, you choose

Suggested dynamics

  • Building: As this game essentially requires the construction of a poem (or poems), it seems natural that ‘building’ would be natural game dynamic. Building in boardgames can be achieved with something as simple as cardboard pieces on a table top. Think Settlers of Catan6A3CF306 D339 4D18 9B7C F83BEBA996A1
  • Destroying: poems are often made much better through editing, so perhaps a dynamic of this game could take the form of ‘destroying’ what has been built in the service of editing down the final product.



Brian Eno, Robert Fripp, and David Bowie at the Hansastudios, Berlin, 1977

Oblique Strategies:

Created by artist and producer Brian Eno and German composer Peter Schmidt, Oblique Strategies is essentially a set of 115 white cards with simple black text containing creative prompts or artistic instructions. Eno himself used these while producing David Bowie’s seminal Heroes (1977), specifically on Sense of Doubt. [Click here for a PDF of the Oblique Strategies cards.]

Sense of Doubt




Eno’s Oblique Strategies – indeed much of his work, both fine arts and music-based – draws heavily from the Fluxus movement of the 1960s and 70s. This movement is loosely defined, but includes artists such as Joseph Beuys, George Maciunas, and Yoko Ono. Maciunas in particular was well known for creating instructions for musical performance rather than composing the performance itself:


George Maciunas In Memoriam to Adriano Olivetti Versions 1-51962


George Maciunas, Duet for C on Bass Sordune, Voice and an Old Score