Date of Award

2019

First Advisor

Chris Coggins

Second Advisor

Francisca Oyogoa

Abstract

This thesis is about a board game called City Planners, a game I designed as a model to teach about inequalities in urban planning and to explore the educational benefits of board gaming. Throughout the written section of my thesis, I explore games as alternative entry points for students/players to learn increasingly more abstract social issues and to promote cognitive ability. The theory behind an educational board game such as City Planners is that by recreating conditions in the play space which replicate real-world circumstances, players can be led first to wrestle with a model of a social dynamic in the gaming environment before considering pressing societal issues in their real-world manifestations. In addition to a focus on thematic and theoretical concerns of urban planning and structural inequalities endemic to all city planning processes in the United States, much of the thesis is dedicated to board game design and the process I used to create City Planners.

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