History of the Game

A simple origin story for this serious game.

Recently rebranded The Social Justice Game, the game first emerged as The Landlord Game, and was created as part of a museum exhbit. It later became a game to play with students, promoting social justice and helping instructors use active learing to explore the systemic nature of poverty with their students. It has been downloaded by hundreds of people, worldwide.

Game created for the Snite Museum exhibit Money Worries

March, 2018

The Landlord Game was designed to be played as part of the interactive component of the Money Worries exhibit at the University of Notre Dame's Snite Museum, circa March, 2018. Along with the interactive digital game SPENT, and a film collage by Dr. Matthew Payne, University of Notre Dame, The Landlord Game represented a third of the interactive spaces from the Money Worries exhibit. Museum patrons were encouraged to engage directly with the exbibit by playing SPENT digitally, and playing The Landlord Game with other patrons there in the museum.

Game played with students at Notre Dame and Saint Mary's College

Summer, 2018 - Summer, 2019

The game materials are released under a Creative Commons License. The game's official website is created to facilitate use by instructors at Notre Dame, Saint Mary's College, and anyone who wishes to download the materials and modify the game according to their own needs.

Twelve copies of the game are made and placed in circulation at the Hesburgh Libraries. Game play is facilitated in a number of classes at Saint Mary's and Notre Dame, including:

  • The Moreau First Year Experience Seminar, Notre Dame (Harrison, Monroe, Morgan, Outlaw, Vecchio)
  • Confronting Poverty: Bringing Service to Justice, Notre Dame Summer Scholars (Mick)
  • IDS 30995: Social Inequality, Notre Dame (Toro)
  • FTT 40108: Interactive Storytelling, Notre Dame (Payne)
  • ECO 252: Principles of Microeconomics, Saint Mary's (Vijay)
  • ECO 352: Intermediate Microeconomics, Saint Mary's (Vijay)
  • ECO 354: Development Economics, Saint Mary's (Vijay)
Game presented at conferences in the U.S. and abroad

AY 2018 - AY 2019

The game is presented at academic gaming and pedagogy conferences, including Teach, Play, Learn (Indiana University South Bend), and EDULEARN (Palma de Mallorca, Espana),and the 2019 Gameful Learning Summer Institute (University of Michigan).

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Game rebranded as The Social Justice Game

Summer, 2021

A trademark hiccup encourages me to rebrand the game with an even better name. And just like that, The Landlord Game becomes The Social Justice Game — with a brand new website, and its own Twitter account! Same great game — slightly different name!