Automation in Decision Making

This is one of the themes in the Small Game Big Theme game jam, which is running from 21 May until 21 June 2021. Find out about the other themes here or read more about the jam as a whole.

Can you create a small game around the theme of Automation in Decision Making?

The theme: Automation in Decision Making

We make decisions all the time, but the dawn of the ‘mutant algorithm’ has highlighted the concerns and challenges of ‘handing over’ decision-making to machines. In reality, human decision-making alone is inherently biased – but computers alone – or even humans and computers together, will not produce a ‘perfect decision’ either, because there isn’t one. Often systemic biases are built into systems – we blame the ‘algorithm’ – but computers don’t make the rules.

READ Institute for the Future of Work. (2020). Mind the Gap: The Final Report of the Equality Task Force. https://www.ifow.org/publications/mind-the-gap-the-final-report-of-the-equality-task-force

READ The Alan Turing Institute. (2019). Understanding artificial intelligence ethics and safety.
https://www.turing.ac.uk/research/publications/understanding-artificial-intelligence-ethics-and-safety

What sort of game should you create?

The game should be small. It should be small enough that it can be posted through the mail as a letter, not as a parcel. That could mean:

  • A social deduction game with no physical components
  • A postcard or a greetings card
  • A deck of (around) 20 or fewer cards
  • A printable roll and write

It’s OK to ask the players to add some components if they are things which you’d reasonably expect to find in most houses. That could mean:

  • A calculator
  • Six sided dice (there are also dice rolling apps online)
  • Coins to flip
  • Pen and paper
  • A packet of sweets/candy (such as jellybeans)

How to get involved

If you’d like to create a game, please just jump in! You don’t need any sort of credentials to get started!

Take photos of what you’re creating and share them on Twitter using the hashtag #smallgamebigtheme. If you remember to copy in @dissentgames then we will retweet. Please do share on all sorts of other social media too.

If you’d like to chat about what you’re creating then please head over to our discord server. There are some empty channels waiting to be claimed with games in progress.

On 21 June we’ll draw the game jam to a close. (Obviously that doesn’t mean you need to stop designing!) We’ll ask the people who submitted the themes for some feedback on what people have made. A few people have volunteered to speak about the games made on blogs, podcasts, or streams, so there may be opportunities to talk about what you’ve created.

Come and join in!

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