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GameChanger: Who Could We Be?

Updated: Mar 19

The most powerful human ability is the ability to change ourselves.


GameChanger is an experimental narrative-based framework that helps people change, inspired by Jungian psychology. It includes smaller in-real life, low-tech games, such as the Yes, & game and meditations to guide you through your journey of change. The framework is divided into three major parts: Awareness is the first, acceptance the second, and enactment the third step to change in which players enact their changed identities through living.

We developed this system through intense no-tech self-experimentation, where we identified needs for change within ourselves and iteratively tested different creative methodologies in our own lives. Our initial web-based prototype consolidates some of our insights, but we anticipate expanding to new mediums in the future.


Technology is inseparable from practice. To develop augmentation technology is to develop the practices that humans engage in their lives. We traditionally conceive of technology as a concrete system or object (e.g. a hardware device, a software system). But this framework excludes the most critical element of the equation – the human. In phenomenology, an object's meaning and significance arise from an individual's experience and interpretation, rather than existing independently of human perception and engagement. Thus, we regard technology and the human experience of its usage as two sides of the same coin — and in developing augmentation technologies, we are not just building technical systems, but also designing human practices.


Level I - Awareness (Seeing)

“Light is the left hand of darkness and darkness the right hand of light. Two are one, life and death, lying together like lovers in kemmer, like hands joined together, like the end and the way.”

--Ursula K. Le Guin

The first step to change is awareness. Level I helps you become more aware of yourself in your life and circumstances and identify not just what you want to change but also why you want to change. We believe that oftentimes, we are unable to change because we have not truly identified the root cause for the dissatisfaction and need for our change.

Today, your task is to seek your shadow. To find the parts of yourself you hide, despise, deny. To notice the things in your life that trigger discomfort, anxiety, stress. To uncover the repressed, the suppressed — to confess. Carry a pen around with you everywhere you go. Collect artifacts of things that trigger discomfort — conversations, people, events, activities, objects — anything. Write down the Shadows down on your arm. Careful not to wash them off. Gaze into the abyss, for: All the light we cannot see exists only in the darkness.

Level II - Accepting (Imagining)

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue center light pop and everybody goes 'Awww!'“

--Jack Kerouac

The second step to change is to accept all that you are and then to image who you could be.

The Yes, and Game

The Yes, and game is an approach to overcoming your own personal narratives and learning about the narratives your closest friends and family have about you. It is a game that utilizes both antagonism and empathy to overcome certain parts of our personality and behavior that we do not like to admit to ourselves. It gives us the chance and opportunity to use a game to reinterpret and raise awareness of ourselves. 


Often in our desires for change, we adopt others' narratives -- we want to start a healthy diet, workout routine, read more, etc. -- but we may benefit from taking a moment to use our own imaginations to explore all the interesting potential versions of ourselves we could be.

Today, your task is to free yourself. From the monotony of your daily routines. From the narratives that imprison your life. From the rules of other people’s games. Question everything, break everything. Have you ever thought about all the ways we could live? How many different ways can we move our bodies? How long has it been since you’ve danced in public? How many different ways can we play in our environments? How long has it been since you’ve played without special occasion? Look at your life right now. What fills your mind? What fills your time? What fills your heart? Why do you choose to live the way you do? Do you choose at all? Carry a pen around with you everywhere you go. Observe your life and imagine how it could be different. Collect visions of crazy possibilities. Write down the Visions down on your arm. Careful not to wash them off. Dream wildly, for: "We are as gods and might as well get good at it.”

Level III - Enactment (Reality)

“今ここで (ima koko de). Here, now.”

The third step to change is enactment. Drawing from psycho-cybernetics, enactment helps us collect evidence of our new identities. We often think of change as a something we can cerebrally or abstractly define, and then propagate into our lives -- but in reality, action sometimes precedes definition.

Today, your task is to become god. Simple. Easy. God is an artist who lives her art. All that you have created — you must now enact in real life. You have Eaten your Shadows and Birthed your Dreams — now, you must Live your Self. You must walk and talk and think and feel like your Self — everything from your mind to your body to your heart to your soul. Carry a pen around with you everywhere you go. Collect proof of your Self living — moments, actions, thoughts, feelings — and write it on your arm. Write down the proof of your Self down on your arm. Careful not to wash it off. Stand up. Jump. Shout. Shake off the weakness. Now, you must live, for this is all there is: “今ここで (ima koko de). Here, now.”


We are currently testing the implementation of the game through self-experimentation and using it in our everyday lives. Once more insights have been gained, we will refine and expand this work.

This project was developed by Aida Baradari and Alice Cai.

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