Daniel (Avraham Yosef) Baez, coordinator of technical projects for Financial Aid Services, won a scholarship in September for a game he created. In Trapped, which was inspired by the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911, players create personas that incorporate the types of disadvantages that victims of the fire experienced—immigrants, people with caretaking roles outside of work, or people with conflicts in the workplace.
The game has three levels: the 1909 workers’ strike that preceded the fire, the fire itself, and the trial of Triangle employers Max Blanck and Isaac Harris. Players roll a pair of dice at each level to determine their fate. Depending on whether the outcome is positive or negative, they either add a piece of fabric to a swatch or tear the fabric before adding it. (See photo.)
The game results in a beautiful manifestation in fabric of conflict and resolution. Baez, a Hasidic Puerto Rican Jew, won a diversity scholarship from the Indie Game Developer Network, which will cover Baez’s travel, lodging, and attendance at the IGDN’s annual design conference held in November in New Jersey. The game, Baez said, “is meant to be an impactful teaching tool for history while encouraging action in the world around us.”