Friday Games: Tiltfactor’s Buffalo

Still suffering digital media overload after the barrage of election coverage? Us too! This week, we’ll be kicking it old school, playing a card game that MIT Game Lab researcher Todd Harper found at the Indiecade festival: Tiltfactor’s “Buffalo.”

Buffalo: The Amusing Name-dropping Game

This nifty gem of a game combines fast-paced wordplay with a subtle and brilliant attempt to get players to reflect on where the things they know come from. If the promise of speedy, hilarious, and culturally informative play doesn’t grab you, then show up just to indulge in schadenfreude and listen to Todd’s story of the demo game that turned him on to Buffalo in the first place!

Calling in to the session will be Geoff Kaufman, Tiltfactor’s postdoctoral researcher in psychology. He holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in psychology from Ohio State University, and a B.A. in psychology from Carnegie Mellon University. His research focuses on how the mental simulation of characters’ experiences in fictional narratives, virtual worlds, or games can change individuals’ self-concepts, attitudes, behaviors, and emotions. He is particularly interested in how such experiences can build interpersonal understanding and empathy, reduce stereotypes and prejudice, and inspire higher levels of social consciousness.

Join us in 26-153 this Friday to watch or, even better, to play! If you can’t be there in person, then tune in to the live stream and observe from afar in a friendly and not at all creepily voyeuristic way. See you then!

Philip Tan is the creative director for the MIT Game Lab. He teaches CMS.608 Game Design and CMS.611J/6.073J Creating Video Games at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For the past 6 years, he was the executive director for the US operations of the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab, a game research initiative. He complements a Master's degree in Comparative Media Studies with work in Boston's School of Museum of Fine Arts, the MIT Media Lab, WMBR 88.1FM and the MIT Assassins' Guild, the latter awarding him the title of "Master Assassin" for his live-action roleplaying game designs. He also founded a DJ crew at MIT.

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