Game design for empathy

I led design research and systemic understanding of a bike lock then in creating a card game "Lock down" to create empathy between bike owners and thieves. 

We identified that bike locks only exist because of bike thieves. There is an unending relationship between bike owners with locks and bike thieves. While the bike locks advance in their level of security, thieves also develop their own skills of unlocking those locks. The thieves have their own motivation behind their actions even though this does not justify their action.


June West, Laura Dusi, Sungmy Kim


This card game is intended to explore the system in which a bike lock represents and creates empathy between bike owners and thieves by discovering the unpleasant relationship between them. In this game, players become bike owners and thieves. They compete against each other using different thief skill levels and separated parts of a bike. This game makes us understand the system of bike locks while remaining fun for players.