Arts and Design

Tabletop game introduces students to life as a lawyer

Games and interactivity students Trent Williams, Tristan Bondici, William Klarenbeek and John Roberts with lecturer Troy Innocent (centre). Image courtesy of Swinburne University

In a new law-themed board game created at Swinburne, players take on the role of a junior lawyer trying to win a promotion to the corner office.

The tabletop game, called ‘40 Floors Up’, was produced by students and staff from Swinburne’s Law School and Department of Film and Animation.

The game is set on the 40th floor of a Melbourne skyscraper where players act as junior lawyers trying to climb the corporate ladder. They must prove their worth by completing cases as quickly as possible and get ahead by any means necessary to win the game.

The game has been designed as a fun way to introduce law to high school students.

Taking inspiration

Mitchell Adams, manager for the Centre for Transformative Innovation and a lecturer in the Law School was inspired by TV shows such as ‘Suits’ when it came to creating the brief for the game.

“I couldn’t help but notice that students engage with shows like Suits, and it might influence their choice to come to law school, so I tried to distil what people like about law when looking at it through the lens of entertainment,” he says.

“The mechanics that the students have come up with are so straightforward that people can take to the game really quickly. It really does bring out that competitive streak in players that is sometimes lacking in other tabletop games.

“Lawyers are notorious for not being creative, so we are bucking the trend by introducing creativity into law. The creativity that Swinburne is well known for.”

Swinburne’s games success

In addition to engaging high school students, the game is a testament to the Bachelor of Games and Interactivity students’ ability to produce industry-ready products.

Games and interactivity lecturer, Dr Troy Innocent, integrated the brief into his teaching program and explains that working with a client made the game design process more real for the students.

“They were designing a game and coming to understand how it would play out in the real world,” he says.

“Taking an idea through the stages of development, from initial designs to implementation and playtesting – rapidly and in such a short time – was an entirely new experience for us,” Says games student Trent Williams, a member of the team behind the game.

“Designing for clients and being under time constraints pushed the team to perform their best.”

Swinburne Law School will be rolling out ‘40 Floors Up’ across secondary schools in Victoria and will have copies available for students to play at Swinburne’s Open Day at the Hawthorn campus on 29 July 2018.

Source: Swinburne University

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