Tomorrow at 11am UC Davis is launching Envision, an interactive video game designed to allow students, faculty, and associated members to come together to discuss and chart the university’s future. The game will be live for 36 hours, during which users can log in and meet with others in a virtual space.
UC Davis has created this game with the intent purpose of opening up the discussion of the university’s future to a wider population of students, giving them a virtual space to connect like never before. When it goes live for computers and mobiles, users will be able to share “micro-contributions” about their vision of the future of UC Davis, as well as add onto the visions of others. From their brief description, it sounds like the game will function akin to something like Reddit, where users can respond or add to specific threads of thought. A leaderboard system will be put into place to chart the contribution of users and winners will be awarded prizes, further promoting the “game” aspect of Envision.
This is a pretty neat concept for a major University to attempt; it shows their dedication to gaming as a tool for social interaction and advancement. Online spaces have the ability to make for more neutral and accessible grounds for discussion, so hopefully UC Davis’ community will come out in force to chart its future. It is only open to those associated to UC Davis, but it will be interesting to see if this method of discussion proves to be a worthwhile method for Universities and organizations to consider in the future.