Naomusings

My musings on the mainstream media and culture.

Socioeconomic Pong: A Game about Inequality

Do all Americans have an equal chance to be economically successful? Or is the playing field inherently unequal?

To illustrate the concept of socioeconomic inequality, we created Socioeconomic Pong. Play Socioeconomic Pong and let us know what you think! (The game works best in Firefox, Chrome, or IE9.) Select the image below:

SEPong

Our version of Pong is modelled after Atari’s traditional arcade game. In traditional Pong, players are each given equally-sized paddles, and therefore neither has an advantage. In Socioeconomic Pong, the size of a player’s paddle is determined by socioeconomic factors. The purpose of this game is to demonstrate that the socioeconomic advantages and obstacles faced by an individual at birth have a strong impact on the likelihood of that individual’s success.

I created this game with my colleagues Matt Taylor and Estelle Domingos at Capella University. We are in the Course Media department, and we design media pieces for online courses. We presented Pong at the Games, Learning, and Society Conference and received the Judges’ Choice award at the poster session.

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