CONTEXTDMA 157A Spring 2012
PEOPLEAliah Magdalena Darke : Game Designer
Objectif is a game created in response to the article, “Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?” published online at Psychology Today. The article is no longer available at the original site, but you can read about it here and see a screenshot here.
Objectif is a 3 player game where players are asked to find the most attractive woman.
During any given round, two players compete while a third player acts as the judge. Competitors start by drawing 3 cards into their hand. Next, they try to play a more attractive card than their opponent, as determined by the judge. The judge not only decides which woman is more attractive, but must explain why they believe it to be true.
The most attractive women are kept in the players’ harem until the final round, while unattractive women are discarded. A new judge is selected at the end of the round and game play continues in the same fashion. Each subsequent round, players learn more about each other’s preferences and thus the game becomes more strategic over time. Ah, but be careful, it should be noted that people are not always consistent when it comes to attraction!
Objectif was created to facilitate discussion about our perceptions of attractiveness. Each portrait is hand drawn and painted to represent a black woman. Upon playing a few rounds, players will notice duplicate face templates wherein only the “coloring” has been changed. The inclusion of these duplicates allows players to realize the shallow nature of race or color.
As an art piece, Objectif challenges our perceptions of race, women and beauty while simultaneously revealing the assumptions we make about ourselves and others,