Wicked is the culmination of my bachelors-degree research about ethics in design. Student designers are often being told that they should use their skills for the betterment of our society. However, there is very little education into the responsibilities of designers and the ethical repercussions that their work can have in the real world.
In part this is due to the fact that graphic design is still a young profession, this is even more true for those studies that focus on digital design. There is no consensus on what the ethics of a designer should look like. What many influential writers, designers and philosopher do feel is that it's better for designers to formulate their own ethical rules instead of adhering to rules laid out by a higher authority.
In the book “GOOD: An Introduction to Ethics in Graphic Design” by Lucienne Roberts, philosopher Anthony Grayling says the following:
“A list of strict rules would be very difficult to observe in practice which is always the problem with ‘top-down’ ethics. The alternative idea of ‘a way of being’ is bottom-up, which rests on individuals being conscious of their involvement in society and the impacy they have on it.”
Milton Glaser also feels it's the responsibility of the individual designer to devise their own ethical code and to get to know where and when they draw the line. In 2001, when Glaser had just finished working on illustrations for Dante's Divine Comedy, he came up with the Road to Hell, a series of 12 questions that ask designer where they would draw the line.
This inspired me to create Wicked, a card-based role playing game, where the goal is to be as evil and wicked as you can be. Not many people choose to do wrong on purpose, especially not designers, who often are so engrossed in their work that they forget to take a step back and look at the consequences of their decisions. But by forcibly trying to be evil, it's easier to find out where and how things can go wrong and where each individual would say "this is as far as I'm willing to go".
You can download the game right here completely free of charge. Print it, cut out the cards and find out which one of your friends is the most wicked of all.
Got some awesome ideas for new cards, feel left out because it's not available in your language? Got an awesome idea for a different game based on this?
Then go right ahead, make new cards, translate the game, adapt it to your own liking.
You can open the file in any software that has PDF-editing capabilities to adapt the titles on the cards.
I would love to see what you made, so be sure to e-mail me the results.
Opensource Fonts used:
Download the empty files here.
WICKED cards is licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 - free to share, remix and adapt.