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Independent Games Summit: Here There Be Dragons: Demystifying Content Warning Systems

Claris Cyarron  (Creative Director & Co-Founder, Silverstring Media)

Lindsay Ishihiro  (Writer & Narrative Designer, Independent)

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass, Independent Games Summit Pass

Topic: Independent Games

Format: Lecture

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: All

Claris Cyarron (Glitchhikers: The Spaces Between) and Lindsay Ishihiro (I Was A Teenage Exocolonist) spent the last few years building two beautiful digital worlds with unique perils. Giving their audiences a heads-up on the darker parts of the experience ahead, and different ways through, was top of mind throughout the development process. What emerged were two completely different systems for consumer consent and content warnings that allow players to navigate the game in ways that suit their individual needs and preferences.

Join them as they retrace their steps through the design process, demystify the balancing act between setting clear (enough) audience expectations and preserving surprises, while keeping the focus on empowering players rather than infantilizing them. In an era where the bar for conscientious design has been raised, learn to shift your thinking towards unconventional and tailor-made approaches that keep both the creator's vision and players' agency in good priority.

Takeaway

Attendees will explore in-depth two recent narrative games which incorporate content warnings and other similar systems. The audience will learn about the history of content warnings, and gain an appreciation for the impact of clear expectation setting. Finally, a method for discovering new custom solutions will be presented.

Intended Audience

This is for developers, marketers, producers, and community managers, and no prior knowledge is necessary. This information will be particularly helpful for those working on narrative games and those looking to foster better communication and trust with their audience, regardless of the stage of development.