Perspective-Taking Video Game Design


Colored Pencils


Ask the client to identify a current interpersonal situation where they are having trouble understanding that actions, reactions, or behaviors of other people. Have the client draw the scenario, including the place and all the people involved. The client will then identify the various characters, list their skills, and identify how each one would “win” in this scenario. From this drawing, the clients will design a video game in which they can play the part of the different characters, identify each character’s motivations for “winning,” and identify who they believe is the “hero” and/or “villain” of each scenario.

Target Population:

Although this activity could be useful for people over the age of 7, the main target population is older children, adolescents, and teenagers who are experiencing life events that they do not understand or that they have little control over. This is also useful for children who have trouble understanding the actions and behaviors of others, or how their own actions may affect or impact others.

Expected Results and Troubleshooting:

Clients will begin to work though why others may behave the way they do, and why they make the choices that they do. Clients will gain insight into the motivations of parents, teachers, peers, and others. They will begin to gain insight into how their actions affect others. Clients will also begin to understand how the choices and actions of various people in their lives can be leading to the same goal even though they are going about it in different ways.

Some clients may feel tentative or nervous about drawing a scenario or pictures. In this case, the client can choose to list the characters by name and write a description of the scenario, in place of drawing.

Related Works:

Driessnak, M. (2006). Draw-and-tell conversations with children about fear. Qualitative Health Research, 16(10), 1414-1435 .

Fay, D. (2007). Student storytelling through sequential art. English Teaching Forum, 3, 2-23.

Riordan, R. J. (1996). Scriptotherapy: Therapeutic writing as a counseling adjunct. Journal Of Counseling & Development , 74 (3), 263.

Originally posted on the Geek Therapy Wiki, hosted on the now-defunct Wikispaces platform, as part of Dr. Patrick O’Connor’s course Geek Culture in Therapy.