Speaker Series: Ms. Viezzer Sparks Reflection through Game-playing

Ms. Manuela Viezzer, visual artist and specialist in fine arts, invited our middle school students to play her board game called “Promise Me” and reflect on climate change and meat consumption. Ms. Manuela envisioned the game, and then created it herself using tiles and illustrations. Prior to playing and right after, students reflected on their views and habits regarding sustainability. Visit our newsroom to learn more. 

About Stronger Together
We really need all people to collaborate and take steps to change a situation. I designed the game from the point of view of veganism. The idea was that you make promises which are the building blocks to build a road. Of course, if more individuals take more steps together, at a certain point, the numbers make a difference. It is a symbolic way to show that individual actions can impact the collective movement.

About Learning That Matters
To me, this topic is strongly related not only to the game, but also to the research I’m carrying out. The idea of putting game elements in art and artistic elements in games is a powerful association. You can use the storyline to raise awareness about contemporary issues. This is what I would like to achieve - that the people that get in touch with my art can reflect and become more responsible.

About Joyful Learning Environments
This is probably the reason why I decided to mix together art and game design. I have this feeling that art is something that shouldn’t be in a museum. I prefer art that is outside, in society, in the streets. I have seen that people can get enthusiastic about games. And therefore, they think about topics they didn’t think about before.

About Being Well, Doing Well
My own wellbeing impacts my work and my art. Specifically for art, it has a twist. Sometimes when I don’t feel well, I also do art. This state of mind pushes me towards expressing my feelings through art. In the game, the physical presence of the people has an impact, the discussions are more lively. 

About her ASHexperience
I wanted to use art to help the animals - an activist side of art. This game was conceived as a movable sculpture, the rules weren't so explicit. Then, I partnered with the Policy and Management Department at TUdelft to study about games that have a persuasive aspect - simulating responsibility and awareness of the players. This has been a really great experience and I enjoyed seeing students play the game - they are very black and white, and they say what they mean!