Project description

It has been 40 years when China’s national college entrance exam —— the Gaokao —— resumed in December 1977.
Disrupted by Cultural Revolution(1966-76), Gaokao was reintroduced by leader Deng Xiaoping to send a strong signal that times had changed. The severe but fair competition has been the only way for students to change their lives and destiny for almost 40 years. The restoration of Gaokao send 120 million Chinese to enroll in universities.
Through this project, we want to measure the enrollment gap among students from diverse provinces with two kinds of basic index——enrollment rate and acceptance rate. However, we abandon the straightforward to tell the story.Instead, we designed a news game like a stick minigame to make audience experience the different hardship to enroll in universities from different province.
Obviously, the 40 years anniversary of Gaokao reignites memory, thought and attention all over the nation. With a light game, we hope that audience can find the weighty reality behind Gaokao.

What makes this project innovative?

1) Data was used as indexes for game design. Users experience the data difference, and not just see the data difference, when they act as the stick figure and try to jump over the holes in different widths.
We made audience as players immersed in the world of stick minigame through this project. The audience were asked to touch the screen to make a stick for helping the stickman to cross the abyss between two pillars.
The distance between any two pillars was measured with enrollment rate and the width of pillar was measured with acceptance rate while the duration of touch behavior would affect the length of the stick. We made use of these variable to control the difficulty of the game as well as unveiled how likely a person may be enrolled in universities in different year or province.
2) The game was mobile-friendly and social-friendly.
We made a scoring system when audience successfully passed gaokao examination as reaching another pillar they can get a certain point. We also made it replayable even if the stickman was unfortunate to fall into the abyss. To make the scoring system reasonable, it's innovative that we used database to collect the score of every audience when they played.
A list of top 10 scorers can drive the competitive desire especially in social media such as Wechat moment. Therefore, we record the total points of all players to stimulate them to share the game in social media as well as make more people understand the difference when it comes to enrollment.

What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?

Although the data point is important, it doesn't mean that we have to present it with a serious way. Gamifying the story not only made the issue of gaokao more approachable but also more interesting.
Our job as journalists is to inform the public. By creating news game, it allows us to inform our audience in the way where they can easily understand and remember. We believe this project is a ambitious attempt to tell a story with the medium as game.

Source and methodology

The acceptance rate was calculated by Dr.Li Lifeng from shanghai education examination institute and the enrollment rate was calculated in the similar equation. The data of main variable is collected from the database of national bureau of statistics of China.

Technologies Used

Software: Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator
Programming language: html, css3, javascript, php,sql

Project members

Yan Lu, Xuanting Zhang, Zehong Zhang, Guoliang Ji

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