Tiltfactor’s Values at Play project releases “Layoff,” a game used to study empathy, with the financial crisis as a background context.
Developed by Tiltfactor Lab and the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Game Design and Development program, LAYOFF is a casual game that also offers researchers an examination of how empathy operates in a game based on a time of crisis. Both friends and strangers face tough times in an unstable economy. In the game, players play from the side of management needing to cut jobs. Players match types of workers in groups in order to lay the workers off and increase workforce efficiency. Who do you empathize with and why?
ARTICLES, NEWS, AND REVIEWS
- “New Game Offers Education on Recession.” Women in Higher Education 18.4, April 2009, 6.
- Jaeger, Erin. “College professor designs online video game ‘Layoff.'” The Dartmouth, March 31, 2009.
- Elder, Robert K. “Layoff gamesmanship.” Chicago Tribune, March 23, 2009.
- Abrams, Stephanie. “‘Layoff’ Game Gives Players Points for Job Cuts.” WCBS News, March 22, 2009.
- Boomer, Kim. “Be the Boss: Play the Layoff Game.” WQAD News, March 20, 2009.
- Kneale, Klaus. “The Weekly Layoff Report: This Is Not A Game.” Forbes, March 20, 2009.
- Perman, Cindy. “Layoffs: The Videogame.” There Must Be a Pony In Here Somewhere, CNBC, March 20, 2009.
- Soupcoff, Marni. “Layoffs just a game.” National Post, March 20, 2009.
- “Laugh – and Learn – While You Cry, with Layoff: The Game.” Tech-Ex, March 20, 2009.
- Burn-Callander, Rebecca. “Play the Layoff Game.” Real Business, March 19, 2009.
- Heibel, Suzanne. “Layoff Game: Biting Satire Permeates Challenging Online Play.” Hispanic Business, March 19, 2009.
- Santo, Michael. “Layoff: The Game, Learn About the Crisis While You Play.” Huliq, March 19, 2009.
- Smith, Lauren. “Dartmouth professor’s ‘Layoff’ depicts today’s recession in video game format.” College News, March 19, 2009.
- Kolowich, Steve. “Dartmouth Professor Creates Recession-Inspired Video Game.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 18, 2009.
- McElroy, Justin. “Get fired for playing Layoff: The Game.” Joystiq, March 18, 2009.
- Molina, Brad. “Play Layoff the Game!” USA Today, March 18, 2009.
- “Play it Like you Lost It: Layoff.” News for Gamers, March 18, 2009.
- Bogost, Ian. “Layoff, The Game.” (archived) Water Cooler Games, March 17, 2009.
- Ciabai, Calin. “Layoff: the Videogame for the Crisis.” Unigamesity, March 17, 2009.
- Silverman, Ben. “Layoff game satirizes unemployment.” (archived) Yahoo! Video Games, March 17, 2009.
- Takahashi, Dean. “Layoff game meant as salve for corporate doublespeak.” VentureBeat, March 17, 2009.
- “Layoff: The Game.” GamePolitics, March 17, 2009.
- McWhertor, Michael. “Layoffs: The Video Game Is Depressing Fun.” Kotaku, March 16, 2009.
- “Lay it on, Layoff.” First Wall Rebate, March 16, 2009.
- Designer: Mary Flanagan
- Based on the initial idea of Angela Ferraiolo
- Game Programming: Greg Kohl, RIT student
- Art: Grace Ching-Yung, Peng, Jennifer Jacobs
- Music: Paul Orbell
- Content Development: Jay Bachhuber, Zsuzsa Mitro
- Video and Tutorials: Anna Lotko, Chris Takeuchi
- Playtesting: Brendan Scully
- Assessment: Jonathan Belman
- Software Engineering Direction: Dr. Christopher Egert
- Thanks to Angela Ferraiolo for contributing to the initial idea
Research based on this game (see our study on Empathy!) was funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, Collaborative Research: SoD-TEAM:
Values at Play: Integrating Ethical and Political Factors into System Design, CNS-0613867