Do you want to play a game?
Here is the first in a bunch of exercises I did with some students recently at Animex 2010. This exercise/ game is designed to get the folks playing to ask questions, the kind of questions you should be asking when designing, in this instance a character. Plus it gets the class talking to one another and breaks the ice.You may have played this game when you were a kid, it has several names, I call it 'Guess Who!'
You will need: Post it notes, a pen and some students.
You should now write down well known names of fictional characters from books, games, film and TV, on the post it notes.Split the students into couples, ask one student from each pair to get a post it note from you. Placing it on their forehead they then have to ask a minimum of 5 questions of their partner to work who they are. In turn their partner may only reply yes or no.
Once the character is worked out their partner should come to you, swap roles and repeat the exercise.
*If the person being asked questions does not know the character on their partners head give them a new one to work out.
I find this game works best by choosing a selection of human plus non humanoid characters from various media. Alternately, rather than waiting post it notes , or if someone has an allergy to post it notes, simply show one of the pair, the one who replies yes or no, the character from a concealed piece of paper.
It's fun, have a go!