Karl Marx, his theory and its social consequences are a highly political and emotional subject matter. Game mechanics in contrast over stories have the characteristic of de emotionalizing subject matters. Liquid Marx is a serious VR game whose core game mechanic is constructed upon the quantitative economic theory of Karl Marx and uses glasses with liquids as metaphors for the different quantities.
The game mechanics are split into two main layers. On the strategic layer the game is about maximizing one of those quantities over a certain period of time. On an operational layer the game is about mixing and managing the glasses representing the different quantities.
Virtual Reality (VR) often brings itself the problem of cyber sickness. On the positive side it provides a far better spatial impression of the simulated scene and allows for different interaction mechanics usually evolving around the controllers and the improved spatial impression. Liquid Marx minimizes cyber sickness by putting the player more or less stationary into the center of a round table where all interaction relevant objects are placed on. The technical focus of this VR implementation is placed on the glass and fluid interaction. The fluid simulation is physically motivated but not accurate. On one hand this makes the simulation believable. On the other hand it avoids usability problems like swapping or spilling of the fluid.
Many of the exhibits are a part of the Karl-Marx-Haus and are displayed in accordance with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.
The game Liquid Marx produced by the the University of applied Science Trier was a finalist of the Serious Games Showcase & Challenge auf der Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) in Orlando, FL, 2.-5. december.
Most of the competing games were produced by companies and teams consisting of several people. Approximately 18.000 visitors were at the exihibtion. Our game was one of three games, not developed by US American teams. In total there were 25 finalists games.