Sustaining Stories: Story in games for social impact

Myers, M., Sabnani, N., Joshi, A., Mahapatra, S. Sustaining Stories: Story in games for social impact (pdf).


Storying in games can effectively promote pro-social purposes by bringing complex systems, social issues, cultural knowledge and practices to life. This paper considers a case study of the game ‘Bumper Crop’ developed in a specific socio-cultural context with small farmers in India aimed at communicating the real life issues and challenges they face, along with those of rural development and maintenance of sustainable agricultural practices. In particular, it will discuss the way that stories operate within the game and in social impact games in general and how they are an effective mediated environment for knowledge integration and identification.

Author Biographies

Misha Myers, Principal Investigator of Play to Grow, is a performance practitioner, researcher and game maker who creates digital, participatory and located work that engages percipients to story complex social issues and geographies. She is a Senior Lecturer at Falmouth University where she leads and founded the Articulating Space Research Centre. 

Nina Sabnani, is Associate Professor in the Industrial Design Centre (IDC), IIT Bombay. As a storyteller who uses film, illustration and writing to inform and enlighten her audience, her research interests focus on exploring the dynamics between words and images in storytelling and bringing together animation and ethnography in old and new ways. 

Anirudha Joshi (IIT Bombay), is Professor in the Industrial Design Centre (IDC), IIT Bombay. He works in the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) design, education and research in India. Anirudha’s research is focused on designing interactive products for users in developing economies and integrating HCI activities with software engineering. 

Saswat Mahapatra, is a creative entrepreneur, who has an experience of working with brands such as Walt Disney Co., Cartoon Network, BBC UK, Channel 4, Cambridge University Press and Scottish Institute for Enterprises. Saswat currently works with DG Media College, Mumbai, where he conducts campaigns, workshops and handles web and interior branding of the organisation.