A karmic adventure through a rich cultural landscape!
Team size: 12+. This game was developed in conjunction with the Young Indian Culture Group. Though I was the lead Game Designer on the project, it could not have been completed without the hard work and cooperation of Rathi Raja and the many students in the group. For a more complete list of credits, see the bottom of this page.
Keywords: In most games, keywords such as “tap”, “spell”, or “discard” have little to no meaning in an external context. In Karna’s Karma, the keywords are derived from Indian cultural ideas/beliefs. Players of all ilks of life will gain a better understanding of what is meant by “Papa”, “Punya”, “Deva”, and “Asura”, to name a few. When they leave the table, players will have a bit more worldly, cultural knowledge.
Cultural Tolerance/Understanding: In American school systems in particular, there is a Eurocentrism that primarily focuses on Greek/Roman mythology. Karna’s Karma introduces an equally robust Indian canon that students may otherwise never be privy to. Cultural tolerance and understanding comes from cultural knowledge. The more people know about others, the more they will appreciate them.
Playful Vocabulary - The cards in Karna’s Karma were written to subtly include high-level vocabulary words. Playing games is a natural, fun way to learn what words mean in context. While there is no vocabulary list included with the game, parents and teachers alike are encouraged to use the mini-stories on the cards as tools to teach players new words.
Going in circles vs. moving on - The roundabout sections of the game symbolize arrested development. If a player gets caught up circling the wagon, so to speak, she may never acquire enough cards to be victorious. There’s a balance that players should strike between staying near the beginning of the board and pushing forward towards later goals.
A Touch of Grey - Though they are definitively categorized as either good (Punya) or bad (Papa) for gameplay purposes, many of the situations on the cards fall in a sort of grey area between black and white. It is important that people, especially young people, understand that sometimes life deals you a hand with no good play, so to speak. Players of Karna’s Karma can use the game to spark conversations about charity, altruism, selfishness, or integrity.
© 2016, Young Indian Culture Group, Inc.
Game Concept & Development: Rathi Raja
Game Design Consultant: Eric Guadara
Card Contents & Scenarios: Vedic Class of 2016 at YICG
Card Editors: Mansi Vohra, Eric Guadara, Kushi Shah, Aadya Bagul, Swathi Anand
Game Mechanics & Board Design: Eric Guadara
Graphic Design: Swathi Anand
Game Booklet: Mansi Vohra
Lead Playtesters: Aayush Bagul, Maanuv Allu, Kushi Shah, Vijay Anand, Tulsi Kantu, Diya Shah, Madhu Allu, Sudha Anand
Playtesters: Aryaman Bahri, Aadya Bagul, Vishy Karuvakkat, Easha Sharma, Suchir Misra, Mansi Vohra, Vijaya Nyayapathi, Vivek Vohra, Nishant Bagul
Game Playtest Hosts: Nishant Bagul, Sangita Krishnamoorthy, Madhu Allu