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Virginia Tech Grad Ponders Game About Shootings' Aftermath

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Virginia Tech graduate and Raven Software game developer Manveer Heir wants to make a game about the emotional aftermath of the tragedy that befell his alma mater in the spring of 2007.

He's taking up the call made by 2K Marin designer Steve Gaynor to "express through interaction an experience that the player will find meaningful— something novel, poignant, interesting, personal, or enlightening."

I wish to explore that feeling of togetherness and understanding of what it is like to go through the grieving process. I present my design, titled Bereavement in Blacksburg, and hope that it is a step in the right direction to expressing such feelings in an interactive medium. I fully admit these thoughts aren't fully fleshed out, even after I attempted to build this game for months, due to the difficulty with exploring these emotions and the scope that I felt it would take.


Heir's concept pits the player as a Virginia Tech student waking up the day after the shootings and trying to cope with the emotional impact. A hidden "grief score" tracks how the player deals with with his character's girlfriend and other students on campus following those terrible events. Heir acknowledges that his ideas are rough. He's looking for feedback.

Read a much more detailed description of Heir's concept at his blog.

Call to Arms: Bereavement in Blacksburg [The Design Rampage blog, thanks N'Gai]